A CARE home which could close has received a glowing report from inspectors, who were impressed with efforts to help residents vote.

The Abbey in North Berwick is one of a number of care facilities earmarked for closure by East Lothian Health and Social Care Partnership as it looks to provide alternative care models in the county such as ‘extra-care’ housing.

But despite claims the home is no longer fit for purpose, it scored highly during an inspection carried out in December.

And the Care Inspectorate officers were particularly impressed with the work of staff to ensure its residents could vote.

The report said: “We visited the service in the run up to a General Election and could see that residents were actively supported to vote and exercise their citizenship rights.”

The care home received a grading of 5 (very good) for its care and support planning and the way it supports residents’ wellbeing.

The inspectors praised staff for their relationships with residents as well as the activities on offer and meals offered, and also the strong links with the community health team.

They said: “People living at The Abbey were able to contribute in a variety of ways to decisions which affected them and people were able to choose where and how they spent time.

“We observed warm, compassionate and nurturing relationships between staff and people who lived at The Abbey, with lots of good humour and laughter.

“These warm relationships extended to family members, who

were welcomed and included as part of the ethos of care and support within the service.”

The Abbey, which provides care for 30 older people, is on the grounds of a 15th-century convent which has been extended over the years.

Dr Deborah Ritchie and Tillie Baird, co-chairs of North Berwick Health and Wellbeing Association, said in a statement: “We are delighted that The Abbey has been recognised for quality of care. So many professional carers are our hidden heroes/heroines, working so hard for our older population.”

Councillor Fiona O’Donnell, chairperson of East Lothian Integration Joint Board, which oversees healthcare, said: “‘I agree so strongly with the Care Inspectorate and their very positive inspection of The Abbey.

“I would like to congratulate Kayreen Jones [care home manager] and all the staff for their warm and supportive approach and their ability to see people as people, with their own needs and wishes. Every resident is treated with dignity and respect, and their families are confident about the high standard of care the staff provide.

“They work together to offer a very welcoming environment where people feel at home.”