THE quality of service offered by care homes for the elderly in the Borders has improved, councillors heard this week.

Back in 2014, the watchdog Care Inspectorate, based on inspections of the 17 independent facilities and the five then run by Scottish Borders Council – now operated by SB Cares - rated 57 per cent in the “good, “very good” or “excellent” categories.

SBC’s executive was told on Tuesday that, by September 2016, that figure had risen to 75 per cent.

In 2014, 42 per cent of the inspection scores fell within the less positive gradings in the gift of the watchdog, “adequate”, “weak” or “unsatisfactory”.

Two years on and this had been cut to 23 per cent, prompting SBC’s social work reviewing officer Steve Almey to state: “Whilst it is important to emphasise that any grades within this range are not welcomed, this represents a shift towards a more positively balanced range of grades.

“Whilst there is still clear room for improvement, it should be acknowledged that progress has taken place.”

In his report to the executive, Mr Almey said that while it was difficult to be specific about the reasons for the improvement, he commended the council’s actions since the 2014 figures were released.

These actions had included delivering bespoke training to over 500 home care staff and holding regular commissioning meetings with care home proprietors and managers.