Carol Black & Wendy McCreadie
Carol Black & Wendy McCreadie

Colin McCracken of the Care Inspectorate visited us on Saturday 17 March.

This inspection looked at two aspects of our work. Again this was a very successful inspection.

There were no requirements or recommendations for change made

  • Quality of Care. 
    We retained our top grade of 6 for Quality of Care thanks to the hard work and dedication of our carers.
  • Management and Leadership We received a 5 for Management and Leadership, the same grade as two years ago despite a large period of change in management over that time. Our new management team of Carol Black and Wendy McCreadie (photo) are to be congratulated.

After almost 3 decades of dedicated service to Crossroads, our popular, long-serving manager Anne Gorman has taken a well earned retirement.

On August 3rd 2017, a large gathering of friends, colleagues, service users and carers packed Wigtown Town Hall to show their appreciation for all that she has done for Crossroads and the local community over that time.

However it’s not a complete farewell to Anne as she has agreed to join our board of directors, and hopefully she will continue her long association with Crossroads for many years to come.

Coffee Afternoons

A very enjoyable coffee afternoon, attended by service users, carers and Board members was held on Thursday 12 October at “The View” in Port William. This proved to be an excellent venue. The staff were very helpful and friendly – and the scones, fresh and delicious!

Congratulations to Becky Dalrymple, our Admin Assistant on her organisation of the event and her involvement with service users on the day.

Coffee Afternoon 2017

Service User Survey 2016

The 2016 annual survey of service users was carried out in May. As in previous years, we were pleased to discover how highly our service users value the service, with an overall satisfaction rate of over 95% of those who returned completed questionnaires. All points raised by service users, their families and carers have been given careful consideration and acted upon by the manager and staff where appropriate, and once again, we appreciate the time and effort service users put in to complete the questionnaires and hope that they find the exercise worthwhile.  We certainly do, as it can highlight points which could otherwise be overlooked.
The full report is available as a PDF here.

Vera Marshall

Vera Marshall

Vera has long-standing connections with Wigtownshire. 

She worked as a farm secretary for several years and left the area only because her mother was ill and needed her at home.  Also, her husband was from the Newton Stewart area, so it was a natural decision to move back here when they retired and he had fallen ill. 

Vera also goes back a long way with Crossroads.  Initially, while living in Staffordshire she became the carer of her husband, and received 5 hours per week respite from the local Scheme. 

After she and her husband returned to Newton Stewart, she was put in touch with Crossroads (Newton Stewart and Machars) Care Attendant Scheme by her GP, and received the same allocation of hours, which she was able to use flexibly – often as a block to enable her to go to Ayr or Dumfries.  Her husband enjoyed the visits of the care attendants and of our manager, Mrs Gorman, who became a family friend. 

When her husband passed away, Vera wanted to give something back to Crossroads so she joined the management committee, later becoming a director of the Scheme.  She served for many years, bringing the carer’s perspective to the deliberations and decisions of the Board as well as being involved in a wide variety of roles from recruitment of staff to fund-raising.  Her input was invaluable.

After several joint replacement operations, the wheel has turned full circle and Crossroads is once again supporting Vera – this time to enable her to remain living in her own home.  When care was needed, she had no hesitation in asking for Crossroads and has nothing but praise for her care attendants and the management staff. 

In order to cover the visits required, Vera was asked to accept a male care attendant.  She was a little reticent about this at first, but has found the arrangement perfectly satisfactory.  She says “All the care attendants are sensitive and willing to help in any way they can to do what is needed”.  She enjoys their company and looks forward to their visits.

Tracy is the carer of her daughter, Kayleigh.

She moved to the Isle of Whithorn with her family in 1992, to run a B & B business. Kayleigh was born here and was diagnosed with a condition called Sanfilippo, just before her eighth birthday, in 2001.  This is a very rare inherited disease of metabolism.

Initially, Tracy received a little respite care from Crossroads, but this has increased over the years as Kayleigh’s symptoms have became more severe and demanding. When she left school, it was necessary to cover the hours that Kayleigh had spent there, and we now deliver 5-7 hours seven days a week, plus 3 nights, as Kayleigh is wakeful throughout. Two care attendants care for Kayleigh during the day as care is provided outwith the home, while one is on duty overnight as Tracy can be called upon to help if necessary.

The seven care attendants work a rota and take Kayleigh to a variety of activities each week. These include swimming, attendance at the ARC in Newton Stewart and visits to attractions in the area. Tracy believes that the stimulation provided adds quality to Kayleigh’s life and has helped to prolong it. Likewise, the need for a good walk each day is essential to keep Kayleigh mobile – as Tracy put it ‘if you don’t use it you’ll lose it’ – so she insists on this, and the care attendants ensure it happens. 
Tracy’s relationship with the care attendants and with the management team is very good.  She feels confident that her care attendants look after Kayleigh well and describes them as excellent.  They communicate well with Kayleigh and respond appropriately to her moods – trying to fit suitable activities to them.  Tracy also knows that if she needs to discuss anything with the management team, she just has to ring the office to speak to someone.

Tracy has never considered changing care provider.  Personalisation has given her more control over Kayleigh’s care, but she continues to employ Crossroads.  She feels that the care attendants know Kayleigh well and, in turn, Kayleigh likes being with them.  They seem to enjoy their work and in some ways have become part of the family.