Balhousie Care Group’s success at National Care Awards

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Balhousie Care Group won a coup last weekend as it saw three of its employees recognised as finalists in the National Care Awards, and operations director Louise Barnett winning in her category.

Louise Barnett, Heather Smith and Elaine Nerr were competing against hundreds of people in a ceremony which recognises the very best of those working in the long-term care sector. Operations Director Louise Barnett, who has been integral in pushing forward Balhousie’s Together We’re Great initiative, won the Operations Manager of the Year award. Heather Smith, care home manager at Balhousie Orchard Court in Balbeggie, was a finalist in the Learning Disabilities Manager of the Year category. Nominated in the Resident Engagement category was Elaine Nerr and The Dalguise Centre and Orchard Court in Balbeggie.

Balhousie’s success comes at a pivotal point for the group, which is celebrating 25 years as a care home provider and 25 homes – both owned and managed – across the north east of Scotland. The group, which just recruited its first Chief Executive, Steve White, is working hard to promote person-centred care and to encourage participation of everyone – staff, residents and families – across all of its homes and head office.

Its Together We’re Great initiative, launched in 2016, has seen a positive cultural shift company-wide, while programmes such as peer-to-peer recruitment have meant employees and residents feel more involved with care, said Louise Barnett (pictured above at the ceremony).

“The name Together We’re Great sums up what that initiative is about. Through enhanced communication and a focus on individuals and their values, we are showing that Balhousie is only the sum of its parts, which are employees, residents and family members. When we took on Steve, we had residents and family members, as well as employees at all levels, sit on recruitment panels. That breaks down hierarchies and fosters engagement at all levels. We’re also committed to much more community involvement and charity work, which you will see the results of this winter. I’m proud to be part of Balhousie Care Group as it continues to strengthen and grow.”

Balhousie Chief Executive Steve White said:

 “I feel honoured to have joined an organisation in the throes of change – and all for the good. Balhousie is an inspiring place to work, and it’s so rewarding to see our employees reaching the National Care Awards finals. Their recognition among the cream of the care sector crop is well deserved, and we’re delighted that Louise won in her category.”

Next for Balhousie is Sleep in the Park 2017, a charity sleepover event in Edinburgh which will see 20 employees, including senior executives, camp out in sleeping bags in freezing temperatures to highlight homelessness.

The National Care Awards, organised by Caring Times magazine, took place last Friday at a black tie ceremony in London, with awards presented by comedian and author David Baddiel.