COUNCILLORS expressed their concerns at a disappointing Care Inspectorate report on Cunningham Place. 

The care home, which houses up to six children and/or young people, underwent an announced inspection in February 2018. 

Staffing is provided over 24 hours, seven days a week. At the time of inspection there were five young people in residence.

The care inspectorate deemed the quality of care and support and quality of staffing as adequate but did not assess the quality of environment or quality of management and leadership.

Kenny Leinster, Head of Community Health Care Service, was told that the management structure had to be improved by councillors on the Leadership Panel last week.

Councillor Julie Dettbarn said: “On first reading this report I was really disappointed. 

“I wrote to ask what had happened and to establish why we have gone from fours and fives to threes and fours.

“I decided to go to Cunningham Place. 

“But I saw children who were happy and building solid relationships. 

“The gym equipment was missing but the children have redesigned the upstairs lounge and it is wonderful.

“The biggest issue is management structure. I want steps to be taken to introduce a more traditional management structure including staff training.

“It cannot be down to one person to carry the load.”

Kenny Leinster said: “I think that is helpful. We have three houses which are being managed under the one team. But we also need facilities that cater for children with special needs.”

Cllr Brian McGinley said: “This is a very important area. Looking after children and providing quality care is vital for this administration. 

“I am at a loss as to how we are in this position. It is not rocket science that we need to provide good support for our children.

“I would ask you to think about how young people are grafted into the home environment. 

“I know a lot of people think the council upset the balance and that is something to consider.”

To improve the service Kenny Lester believed training should be prioritised for staff. 

This should include training about self-harm and suicide prevention.