Balhousie's Ruthven Towers gains top Care Inspectorate Rating

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Staff and residents at Perthshire-based Ruthven Towers Care Home, one of 25 care homes owned by Balhousie Care Group, are celebrating the award of two top Grade 6 ratings after a recent Care Inspectorate visit.

Ruthven Towers in Auchterarder was awarded an ‘excellent' rating of Grade 6 for both ‘Management and Leadership' and ‘Care and Support', after measures were introduced which saw residents, their families and staff involved in everything from policy and recruitment to activities at the home.

The Care Inspectorate was set up to inspect and regulate care services in Scotland to ensure they meet required care standards and provide users with safe, high quality services.

Assessors visited Ruthven Towers last month and assessed two of the four themes: ‘Management and Leadership' and ‘Care and Support'. The care home received grading of 6 in each area, adding to the Grade 5 rating for ‘Environment' that Ruthven Towers had received in a previous inspection.

The Care Inspectorate's latest unannounced visit found that residents and their relatives spoke very highly of the quality of support provided, and that communication with the service staff and manager was excellent.

People living at Ruthven Towers and their relatives commented on the "excellent, responsive staff", the "empathy and compassion" and the "very kind, friendly care" in looking after residents.

Ruthven Towers is "performing at an excellent level" in supporting people to identify and achieve their personal outcomes and goals, through meaningful conversations with people and their families about what is important to them.

Assessors were "very impressed" with the positive approach staff took in encouraging people to identify and access hobbies and activities of interest to them, noting that "a wide range of experiences are provided both within the care home and out and about in the local community and beyond." They also commended the "inclusive style of the management team and their commitment to listening to the views of people to bring about positive change."

The report concludes that the care home, which provides accommodation for up to 51 individuals, is "an extremely well run home with a management team who are committed to providing a person centred, professional service which focuses on best practice and continuous improvement."

Manager Jozi Stables heads up 38 full- and part-time staff at Ruthven Towers. At 26, she is the youngest home manager at Balhousie Care Group. Her infectious enthusiasm for person-centred care and an energetic willingness to embrace new working methods secured her a place as a finalist in the Innovative Practice category at the Scottish Care Awards this month.

Speaking of the recent inspection, Jozi commented:

"The whole team at Ruthven Towers is absolutely delighted by the grading from the recent Care Inspectorate visit and I'm extremely proud of what we've achieved by working together as a team. At Ruthven Towers, we're dedicated to providing personalised care, which puts our residents, their relatives and our staff at the heart of what we do and they have played a massive part in helping us ensure we offer the very best care and support. It's great for that to be have been recognised by the Care Inspectorate in their visit."

Louise Barnett, Operations Director for Balhousie Care Group, added:

"This is a fantastic outcome for Ruthven Towers and a testament to the hard work of the entire team. These grades come as a result of sustained performance over a period of time and show continuous improvement and development. The staff have fully embraced Balhousie's Participation Charter and Together We're Great initiatives to create a care home that shows consistency in the excellent way it promotes individuality and a person-centred approach. Ruthven Towers' Grade 6 rating is a prime example of how adopting these principles can have a positive impact on residents' quality of life and care."

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.