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Smiddybrae House (Dounby)

Vetquoy Road, Dounby, KW17 2HH. Telephone: 01856771100.

The Place

Smiddybrae was built in 2005 by Orkney Islands Council as a purpose built residential care home for older residents. It is situated in the village of Dounby, 13 miles from Kirkwall and 10 miles from Stromness. It stands in its own grounds made up of lawns, flowerbeds and patio areas. A short walk from Smiddybrae House there is the GP surgery, a pharmacy, local mini-market, post office, butchers and hairdressers.


Accommodation is within 4 wings or houses Brockan, Isbister, Bosquoy and Clumly, each with their own lounge, veranda and kitchen/dining area. There are 7 or 8 bedrooms in each wing all with en-suite toilet and shower facilities while there is a bathroom on each end for those that like a bath.

One bedroom in each end is a double room capable of providing for a couple or for two close family members seeking joint accommodation.

The rooms are furnished but residents are encouraged to take any furnishings, pictures, ornaments etc of their own as they may wish to give a sense of familiarity and the room being theirs. They may also decorate their room to their own individual taste. Each bedroom has an internet socket and a TV socket and arrangements can be made to connect a personal phone line if the person chooses. Any electrical equipment will need a safety check before use as per health and safety regulations.

Smiddybrae is wheelchair accessible and all doors and rooms, including en-suite and toilets, are of a size to facilitate the use of wheelchairs and hoists. A number of the bedrooms have tracking hoists on the ceiling.

We provide care for varying needs such as physical disability and dementia care.

The Staff


Smiddybrae is part of Older Peoples’ Services of Orkney Islands Council Community Social Services. The manager at Smiddybrae is Kirstie Moar, and is supported by a team of Duty Managers, who are on site 0740 – 2000 seven days a week and are on-call to support staff outwith these times. The Duty Managers are available from 08:00 to 20:00 to discuss any issue a resident or family member may have. Appointments can be easily arranged outwith these times. The full management team at Smiddybrae consists of:

  • Manager – Kirstie Moar.
  • Duty Managers – Shona Leslie, Maxine Shoesmith and Tracey Finch.

24 hour day to day management of the staff and the service is provided every day of the year by Duty Managers.

The management team meet regularly and work together to ensure the delivery of a high standard of services from a staff group that receive the support they require.

All members of the management team are appropriately qualified and are registered with the Scottish Social Services Council having been through enhanced police checks.


Care Staff are available around the clock, 7 days a week, to plan and implement individual care plans and provide care and support as required. Other members of the staff team include Cooks, Domestics, Administration Assistants and a Handyman.

All care staff work by the Health & Social Care Standards which underpin the Care Inspectorate regulatory service and the Codes of Practice which was implemented by the Scottish Social Services Council.

We are committed to developing skills and knowledge and support staff to undertake qualifications required for the position they hold. All care staff hold an appropriate SVQ or are working towards it. There is a commitment to ensure all staff undertake a programme of dementia training. Regular external and in-house training takes place ensuring that staff are kept up to date with current practice, this ensures a highly trained and dedicated staff group.

We have have volunteers who assist with and host activities that benefit our residents.

All staff and volunteers have had enhanced police checks.

In the event that there are any strategic management changes residents and their families will be informed.


To provide excellent care and support, to older people that are physically frail, have dementia or other disabilities. To continuously improve our service to optimise and enhance the lives of our residents through meaningful engagement and activities, based on individual choices, values and spirituality, in a purpose- built residential setting that supports small group living. This enables Residents to be as actively involved in their day to day routines and maintain their personal independence.

Our Mission

  • Residents are at the heart of what we do.
  • To promote a fulfilled life that makes sense to the individual.
  • Residents will have choice, control, empowerment and real involvement in decisions.
  • To provide a safe high-quality environment.
  • Individuals to be fully involved and informed in implementing a personal plan suited to their wishes and support required to reach their potential.
  • Each person will have a nominated key worker who will support them and their families, if they wish, to access other services for example Advocacy and Allied Health Professionals.
  • To promote an ethos that our residents do not live in our work- place ‘we work in their homes and ‘do with not for’.
  • Promote and respect residents’ individuality, independence, dignity, privacy and personal fulfilment.
  • To maintain links with the community and hold community events in ‘the hub’ where residents can participate.

Staff Aims and Vision

  • Effective and inspiring leadership.
  • To promote a positive, inclusive working environment where success is celebrated.
  • Recognition for individual and team contributions.
  • A learning culture that supports development and potential.
  • An opportunity to develop a fulfilling career.
  • Openness in encouraging and supporting new ideas from all.
  • Open to change and seize opportunities that allows us to continue working towards our mission.


I experience High Quality Care and Support which is right for me

  • Treat everyone as an individual irrespective of their; ability, gender, age. faith race, background or sexual orientation in line with their human rights.
  • Staff are registered with appropriate bodies and adhere to the codes of conduct.
  • Where people require support with personal care this is carried out in a dignified manner with privacy respected.
  • Residents are supported to continue to attend community events in line with their wishes.
  • Residents are allocated a Key Worker who will support and encourage them along with a nominated person and Allied Professionals, if they wish, and agree. to compile an outcome focused support plan which is right for them, including anticipatory planning. This will provide stability and a consistency in care which will be continually reviewed and assessed to optimise quality of life to meet people’s potential, goals and aspirations.
  • Enable residents to exercise their right to vote in elections should they wish.
  • Technology to enhance independence will be explored if appropriate.
  • There is a variety of meals to meet dietary and cultural preferences. A choice of snacks and meals are always available. Residents will be supported to participate in the preparation of food and drinks to enable them to maintain their independence and at their preferred meal times.
  • Residents are supported to access relevant health care services.

I am fully involved in all decisions about my care and support

  • Residents are supported to express their views and communicate in a format or language that is right for them.
  • We support residents to explore and understand through a variety of technology and communication tools such as talking mats, braille, large print and to access other professionals if they choose to support and to maximise communication.
  • Maintain links with friends, family and the community, access to Wi-Fi, telephone and support to attend family and community events.
  • Risk assessments developed promoting a risk enablement ethos to enhance quality of life.
  • Medication risk assessments carried out to allow as much control as possible and there is a facility in each room whereby medication can be safely stored to enhance independence.

I have confidence in the people who support and care for me

  • Whenever possible the nominated Key Worker carries out a Home visit prior to admission as an introduction to the service and to foster relationships. At this stage ‘Getting to Know Me’ is used to identify the level of support the individual requires.
  • Residents have the choice of who their information is shared with in line with the Data Protection Act.
  • There is a robust recruitment process in place, including relevant checks.
  • Staff have a robust induction and are registered with professional bodies.
  • Staff have the appropriate training in-line with their role to enhance their knowledge and skills in supporting older people who are physically frail and have dementia or other disabilities.
  • Policies and Procedures are in place to safeguard residents.

I have confidence in the organisation providing my care and support

  • Reviews, questionnaires, residents’ meetings and focus groups are carried out on a regular basis which are evaluated which forms the service development plan which supports active participation and encourages feedback.
  • People are made aware of the complaint’s procedure at the home visit and will be supported to make complaints if they wish.
  • There is a service agreement for everyone.
  • If a placement is unsuitable the resident will be supported to explore other services and agencies.

I experience a high-quality environment if the organisation provides the premises

  • There is a mix of private and communal areas that is accessible to everyone.
  • Each resident has their own private en-suite bedroom with a locking mechanism on their doors.
  • Should individuals wish a bathroom can be accessed.
  • There are telephone and Wi-Fi access in each room.
  • Residents are encouraged to personalise their rooms through decor of their choice and personal items. This creates a familiar environment for people with dementia.
  • There are private areas that residents can access if they wish to entertain family and friends in a warm friendly homely environment.
  • Each room has systems to control the lightening and heating.
  • Physical activity is promoted in line with the individual’s choice.
  • There is access from every wing to a secure garden with seating areas which contains a greenhouse and poly tunnel where residents can continue with gardening.
  • Provide efficient domestic services for resident’s rooms by staff who respect people’s personal possessions.
  • Risk assessments are carried out in relation to the premises, the equipment used and the activities of the residents individually and as a group.


Individual care needs are assessed by a care manager and passed to the bed allocation team. Care Managers can be accessed by contacting Community Care at the Council Offices, Kirkwall, 01856 873535.

If Smiddybrae House fulfils the required needs then the person will be invited to come and look at the available facilities and give an opportunity to meet residents and staff. Family/friends are also encouraged to come along.

If they decide that they wish to come to Smiddybrae House then they will be allocated a keyworker responsible for ensuring that each individual’s personal needs are met.

If in agreement a visit at home will be arranged so that together people can start planning care needs. This may take more than one visit depending on individual needs. A suitable time and date to move in can then be arrange if they should wish to do so.

All residents are given a six-week trial period after which a review is held with the person, family member/friend, keyworker, duty manager and care manager to gauge if care needs are being met. At this point, if appropriate, permanent residency will be offered. We would advise anyone not to give up their own home until this review has taken place.

Whilst we would hope to provide a lifetime home, there are circumstances where residents may wish to move to an alternative location. Should this be the case, residents will be fully supported by staff and care managers, informally and through the review process to express preferences/wishes, explore options and visit alternatives to allow a smooth transition based on informed decisions.

There are 2 reviews a year, one of which is attended by the Care Manager, to look at needs and to make sure we are meeting them.

Comments and Complaints

We welcome feedback from relevant people to improve and direct services. Should you wish to discuss any aspect of the service please feel free to approach staff. Any concerns will be passed to the management team who will address any concerns in line with organisational policy and agree outcomes where possible.

If any issues are not resolved to your satisfaction you can raise concerns with the Care Inspectorate on 018568770535 or Orkney Islands Council on 01856873535. There are leaflets providing advice on this at reception in the core building.
Complaints or concerns can be forwarded confidentially or anonymously on the above numbers.

Advocacy Tenants are encouraged to access advocacy where they wish or if it is felt this may be beneficial.

Care Planning and Risk Assessment

Care planning is a tool to ensure we are giving the best possible care and attention in all aspects of an individual’s life. Central to the care plan is the person’s lifestyle, wishes and aspirations. It will be updated on a regular basis as needs change and at least 6 monthly to ensure that your needs are still being met.

To encourage safe practice and to meet 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 residents are safe in these situations. Any risk assessment that involves a resident will be created in discussion with them and will become part of their care plan.

Residents may employ their own private personal carer if they wish.

Daily Living

Residents are encouraged and supported to create their own daily living plan. Meals can be served to suit their individual requirements with all dietary needs and preferences being catered for. The home has an ongoing internal programme of activities which are varied and adaptable to individual needs.

Meaningful Activities

We place great importance on maintaining and promoting meaningful activity.

Whilst formulating individual plans we will explore which activities are meaningful to each resident. This will include physical, social, emotional, therapeutic and environmental facilitation, to enhance enablement and enjoyment.

We have a meaningful activities team who ensure a wide range of activities and when possible we access local facilities and events. There is a bus with a tail gate lift for the use of residents if required.

A typical month of activities might look something like this:



Sunday 1.

Sunday Service at 15:00.

Monday 2.

DFO Singing outing.

Tuesday 3.

DanceSing exercises & singalong

Wednesday 4.

Musical Entertainment in to visit.

Thursday 5.

Hamnavoe House coffee afternoon at 13:30

Friday 6.

Orcadian News and Views.

Saturday 7.

Film day in the hubs with snacks

Sunday 8.

Sunday Service at 15:00.

Monday 9.

DFO Singing outing

Tuesday 10.


Wednesday 11.


Thursday 12.

Coffee Afternoon

Friday 13.

Orcadian News and Views

Saturday 14.

Exercises and Sing-along

Sunday 15.

Sunday Service at 15:00.

Monday 16.

Caddy Lambs in to visit

Tuesday 17.

Craft activities.

Wednesday 18.

Visit from local MSP

Thursday 19.


Friday 20.

Nursery to visit and activities

Saturday 21.

Mystery bus trip and chip supper.

Sunday 22.

Sunday Service at 15:00.

Monday 23.

DFO Singing outing

Tuesday 24.

Interactive games on the magic table

Wednesday 25.

Burns Lunch

Thursday 26.

St. Rogs Coffee Afternoon

Friday 27.

Young Farmers in to entertain

Saturday 28.

50s themed afternoon

Sunday 29.

Sunday Service at 15:00.

Monday 30.

DFO singing outing

Tuesday 31.

DanceSing exercises and singalong


Access to spiritual and Christian counselling is available on request through the Duty Managers office.


We are very lucky to have excellent volunteers at Smiddybrae who assist with  a wide range of activities residents can access.

There is also an Activities Association active in raising funds for such things as the greenhouse and residents’ holidays.

Breakfast Club

A chance to get together over breakfast, have a chat and get involved in different activities. It has proven to be of great benefit for a number of residents.


There is an area of raised beds and a greenhouse for the use of residents who enjoy gardening with support available.

Residents’ Holidays

As well as day trips to some of the smaller islands we have been able to take groups of residents on holiday to Caithness and to Inverness staying at hotels.


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


A laundry facility is available and we ask that clothes are clearly labelled in order to ensure safe return. For some residents care of their clothing may be an activity that is meaningful to them, each wing has a washing machine that residents can be supported to use.

Books and Newspapers

There is a vast range of books to access from Smiddybrae House. The library will also provide books if required. Weekly and daily newspapers are available from the local shop.

Residents meetings and Forums

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 and forums. These meetings/forums 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 22:00 and reopened at 06:30, if you require entry before/after these time please contact the Duty Manager.


All residents are encouraged to manage their own finances although help is available if necessary. We also have a safe which can be used for larger amounts of money or valuables.

Medication and Medical Matters

Here at Smiddybrae House we encourage self medication where possible otherwise trained staff will assist in this. Each resident will be allocated a named nurse from the community nurse team. If a resident does wish to self-medicate, staff will need to perform a risk assessment and act on the findings accordingly. The Dounby Surgery doctors are available should anyone require medical attention throughout the day. NHS 24 cover at nights and weekends.

Whilst we would support all service users to access or retain the GP practice of their choice the final decision on whether the GP will support service users out with their geographical area lies with the GP.

The Call Bell System

If a resident should require assistance from a member of staff there are call bells and pendants they can press to alert staff if they need help.

Health and Safety

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 resident's personal belongings. We would suggest that they take out a private policy to protect any items.


It is very important to us that the service responds to the wishes of residents and people important to them as well as commissioners and other professionals. We use a number of means for assessing our service including regular resident’s meetings and forums, questionnaires, service reviews, evaluations and consultation documents, discussion boards, informal information gathering to gather the views of a range of residents.

Respite Facilities

Here at Smiddybrae House we have respite rooms on the 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 appreciate when residents take the time to complete our Quality Assurance Questionnaire so that we may gauge how well we meet an individual’s needs whilst with us for respite.

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


We can arrange the following extra services in addition to those covered by the Contract Price for your Care and Accommodation. You will be responsible for the payment of these services and we will advise you of their cost beforehand:

  • Hairdressing.
  • Newspapers.
  • Dry cleaning.
  • Private telephone line rental and calls.
  • Private use of internet services.

We will arrange appropriate appointments and transport for the following NHS services. Where you have private arrangements in place for the provision of these services and you wish to continue to access these services privately, you or your appointed representative will be responsible for any treatment charges. Occasional one off transport requests will be provided at no extra cost at the discretion of the Care Home Manager.

  • Chiropody (Chiropodist visits every three months with the option of private chiropody appointments out with this time if more frequent visits are required).
  • Opticians.
  • Dentistry.
  • Physiotherapy.


Staff escorts to and from medical appointments.

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