Orkney Islands Council
Working together for a better Orkney

Smiddybrae House

The services available at Smiddybrae House are presented here in five sections:


Smiddybrae House is situated in the village of Dounby and is 13 miles from Kirkwall and 10 miles from Stromness. Smiddybrae House stands in its own grounds which are made up of lawns, flowerbeds and patio areas. There is a local mini-market, post office, hairdressers and pub/hotel all a short walk from us.

The Layout of the Complex and Bedrooms

Smiddybrae House consists of 4 individual wings each with their own lounge/dining-room and 6 or 7 en-suite bedrooms. One bedroom on each wing is a double room which could be used by those wishing to co-habit. The bedrooms will have a lockable chest of drawers and you can also lock your bedroom door if you wish to do so.

Personal Items

You may bring personal items and small pieces of furniture with you when you take up residence. You can also decorate your room to your individual taste. Electrical equipment may be brought in, but will need to be checked before use as per Health and Safety requirements. The Duty Manager will provide guidance on this issue.

Other Areas

There are large communal areas which link 2 wings together and these in turn are linked to a utility corridor that houses the kitchen, laundry and reception.

Philosophy of Care

Staff at Smiddybrae will endeavour to create a happy and homely environment, upholding the principles of individual rights, freedom of choice, privacy, dignity and independence.

Residents are encouraged towards optimum independence through person centred care planning and assisted to participate if they wish to do so, in activities, both inside and out-with the home. Staff will assist you as an individual to achieve any goals or aspirations that you may have.


To create a happy and homely residential environment where older people’s rights, freedom of choice, privacy, dignity, independence and potential are promoted, respected and maintained.


This service should:

  • Meet users needs via individual care planning within assessed packages of care through risk and care assessments, daily reports and monitoring.
  • Promote individual’s quality of life, physically, emotionally and spiritually.
  • Promote and respect service users individually, independence, dignity, privacy, the confidentiality of their affairs and their personal fulfilment and development.
  • Provide skilled, sensitive care of a high standard within a homely environment.
  • To offer service user’s family and friends the support and guidance, if needed, to ensure good communication and relationships between all parties.

Daily Living

As a resident you will be encouraged and supported to create your own daily living plan. Meals can be served to suit your individual requirements with all dietary needs and preferences being catered for. The home has an ongoing internal programme of activities which is varied and adaptable to individual needs.


There is an allocated area for those who wish to smoke as we must ask that you refrain from smoking in your own room due to the risk of fire.


A laundry facility is available for your convenience and all we ask is that your clothes are clearly labelled in order for us to ensure safe return of clothes.

Books and Newspapers

There is a vast range of books for you to access from Smiddybrae House. The library will also provide books if you wish. Weekly and daily newspapers are available from the local shop and can be ordered at your request.

Activities at Smiddybrae House

  • Out for a walk
  • Ten pin bowling
  • Musical entertainment
  • Pampering sessions - hairdressing and manicures
  • Chair exercise to music
  • Board Games
  • Scrapbooks
  • Bus trip out and about with a stop for ice cream
  • Cards, Dominoes and jigsaws
  • Quilt Club visit and demonstration
  • Arts and Crafts sessions (painting, sticking, glueing)
  • Basket ball and darts
  • Baking truffles/favourite recipes
  • Flower arranging – demonstrations and have a go
  • Out for lunch card making
  • Reminiscing childhood, photos and artefacts
  • SWRI visit

This is an example of the activities that take place in Smiddybrae, however activities are tailored to the clients’ individual interests and we are always happy to try new things.

Residents Meetings

All residents or their chosen advocate are encouraged to put forward suggestions to assist in maintaining and improving the home environment at regular resident’s meetings. These meetings are an essential and welcomed tool for us to ensure that we are providing effective person centred care.


Smiddybrae House welcomes visitors at any time and all that we ask is that you sign the visitor’s book at reception. The main door for the building is locked after 10pm but if you require entry after this please contact the Duty Manager.


Each room has a telephone point and you may have a private telephone installed in your room if you wish.


All residents are encouraged to manage their own finances. We also have a safe which you can use for larger amounts of money or valuables.

Medication, Medical Matters

Here at Smiddybrae House we encourage self medication where possible otherwise staff will assist in this.

Each resident will be allocated a named nurse from the community nurse team and they are on call 24 hours per day. If you do wish to self-medicate, staff will need to perform a risk assessment and act on the findings accordingly.

The Dounby Surgery doctors are available if you require medical attention throughout the day.

NHS 24 cover at nights and weekends.

Once you are settled into Smiddybrae House you can choose to register with this practice, so please ask for more details.

The Call Bell System

If you require assistance from a member of staff, you will have a call bell and pendant which you can press and in turn alert staff that you may need help.

Health and Safety

As you may be aware there are certain Health and Safety requirements that we as an employer and service-provider must uphold. Fire safety, risk assessment, and accident reporting are included in the policies and procedures of Smiddybrae House and are available for you to look at if you wish.

Insurance of Your Belongings

Smiddybrae House cannot offer contents insurance for a residents personal belongings but we would suggest that you take out a private policy to protect any items.

Admission to Smiddybrae House

Your individual care needs are assessed by your care manager and passed to the bed allocation team. If you do not have a Care Manager please contact Community Care at the Council Offices, Kirkwall Telephone: 01856 873535.

Coming to see us

If Smiddybrae House fulfils your required needs then you will be invited to come and look at the available facilities, meet other residents and staff. Your family and friends are also encouraged to come along.

Deciding to Stay and Keyworkers

If you decide that you wish to come to Smiddybrae House then you will be allocated a key worker. One of the Duty Managers will ask permission to visit you at home and introduce themselves so that together you can start planning your care needs.

This may take more than one visit depending on your individual needs. You can then arrange a suitable time and date for you to move in if you wish to do so.

6 Weeks Trial Stay

All residents are given a six week trial period after which a review is held with yourself, family member or friend, keyworker, duty manager and care manager to gauge if your care needs are being met. At this point, if appropriate, permanent residency will be offered.

We would advise that you do not give up your own home until this review has taken place. The financial charges applicable to Smiddybrae House and what happens if your funds run out are attached for your information.

Further Reviews

You will have 2 reviews a year, one of which your Care Manager will attend to review your needs and to make sure we are meeting them.

If at any time you are unhappy with the service provided you will be encouraged to use our complaints system or that of Social Care and Social Work Improvement Scotland.

Feedback, whether positive or negative, is welcome.

Social Care and Social Work Improvement Scotland

Social Care and Social Work Improvement Scotland is the Organisation that visits twice a year to review the quality of care that we offer. This is done by assessing Smiddybrae House against the National Care Standards, we are happy to provide you with a copy of these if you wish.

Careplanning and Risk Assessment

Careplanning is a tool for us to ensure we are giving you the best possible care and attention in all aspects of your life.

You will be asked to take part in the formulation of your care plan but at an informal level, through discussions. It will be updated on a regular basis to ensure that your needs are still being met.

Due to legislation we have to risk assess certain situations e.g. going out in the bus, walking outside in the garden. This is used as a tool to ensure that you are safe in these situations. Any risk assessment that involves you will be created in discussion with you and will become part of your care plan.


The staff team employed at Smiddybrae House consists of Duty Managers, Social Care Workers, Social Care Assistants, Domestics, Cooks, Secretary and a Handyman.

Staff are available around the clock, 7 days a week to assist you with your individual plan of care or if you should have a question or query. Our Team Manager is available 9-5pm, Monday – Friday if you would like to discuss any issues you may have.

All staff work by the Codes of Practice which was implemented by the Scottish Social Services Council and have to be trained according to their grade. (Codes of Practice available on request). This ensures a highly trained and dedicated staff.

Respite Facilities

Here at Smiddybrae House we have 4 respite rooms on physically frail and dementia wings. These can be accessed through your Care Manager who will assess your needs and allocate appropriately. We will try and meet with you prior to your first stay with us to discuss your needs and how best we can facilitate these.

All facilities of Smiddybrae House are available for those using our respite service. We would appreciate if you would take the time to complete our Quality Assurance Questionnaire so that we may gauge how well we meet your individual needs whilst with us for respite.

Please contact the Duty Manager on Telephone: 01856 771100 if you have any further queries.