A RESIDENTIAL care home near Helensburgh has been told to reduce its capacity by the sector watchdog.

The instruction comes after an unannounced inspection of the Blairvadach home by the Care Inspectorate in July, when seven young people were living there.

After inspection, officials said the capacity of the home should be reduced to six.

The six-bedroom rural property in Shandon provides long-term accommodation and care for up to eight residents.

Quality of care and support at the home was rated five (very good), and the quality of environment rated three (adequate).

The quality of staffing, management and leadership was not assessed at the inspection.

The report said that young people at the home experience warmth, kindness and compassion from the staff that care for them, including physical comfort when appropriate, and says they are given the opportunity to participate in a range of social, creative, physical and learning activities every day.

However, the report concluded that some young people in the home who were not getting the support they need would benefit from a more intensive caring environment than Blairvadach is currently able to provide – particularly in the area of one-to-one support from staff at the home.

The report said: “Staff flexibly responded to the needs of young people in an age-appropriate manner. This meant the young people quickly developed trusting relationships with their key staff.

“Where it was safe to do so, the young people regularly spent time with their family and staff worked alongside them to repair relationships.

“The manager and staff had made a concerted effort to promote regular house meetings which enabled young people to shape the environment and ensure their views led the service development plan.”

The council has been encouraged to build stronger community links over the next year to help the young people to fully engage in the community and feel included.

The report concluded: “We consider that at times some young people would benefit from a more intensive caring environment than Blairvadach can provide.

“This is particularly important when young people’s behaviour and needs begin to demand one-to-one staff support. The young people should experience the best possible environment.”

A spokeswoman for West Dunbartonshire Health and Social Care Partnership, which runs the facility, said: “The partnership is delighted with the positive Care Inspectorate report for Blairvadach Children’s Home.

“It is great to see our dedicated staff being recognised for their excellent services they provide to children in their care and the encouraging feedback from the children.”