Balhousie’s specialist care units celebrate top Care Inspectorate rating

ASC Dalguise and Orchard Court facilities, providing care for adults with learning disabilities, have been awarded two top Grade 6 ratings after a visit from the Care Inspectorate.

The Perthshire-based facilities have been awarded an ‘excellent’ rating of Grade 6 for both ‘Care and Support’ and ‘Management and Leadership’ after introducing person-centred enhancements to their pre-admission processes and creating additional support staff positions to increase the range of indoor and outdoor activities available to service users.

The Care Inspectorate’s visit captured how “relaxed and happy” service users are with families commenting that they have “no concerns” and find the staff “highly vigilant” and “responsive”. One service user said they feel “safe” and another spoke about helping to “build the swing seats”.

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.

Heather Smith, Operations Manager at Balhousie’s ASC unit, has transformed it into a person-centred environment, giving service-users a key voice in the decision making and running of the unit. She said:

“We are beyond thrilled with our fantastic Grade 6s from the Care Inspectorate after their recent visit. High accolades like this only come about through exceptional teamwork and everyone at ASC has played a role in this achievement. We are dedicated to providing personalised care for each of our service users, placing them at the very heart of what we do, so this achievement is for them as well.”

Louise Barnett, Director of Operations at Balhousie Care Group, commented:

“The work Heather and the team at ASC has carried out to achieve two Grade 6 ratings is truly outstanding. As one of Balhousie’s more challenging facilities, its transformation into a person-centred environment where service users are happy, stimulated and feel safe and ‘at home’ is remarkable. The ASC team has demonstrated consistently excellent standards of care which have had a hugely positive impact on the lives of the people living there and their families.”

These top ratings have coincided with an exciting rebranding for Balhousie’s ASC unit, which is the only residential facility of its kind in Scotland providing a secure, private home for people with behavioural needs in a community orientated, non-clinical environment.

Linking closely with Balhousie Care Group’s drive to deliver person-centred care across all its homes and its Participation Charter, which offers residents and service users a bigger say in the care they receive, the ASC unit has worked closely with the people living in their care to rename the unit to reflect its people, their beliefs and the service being provided.

The rebrand has changed the name of the unit from ‘Advanced Specialist Care’ to ‘Accepting. Supporting. Citizenship’, keeping the initials the same, but expressing the person-centred care received. Heather has worked closely with staff and service users to create the new branding. She added:

“It has been a wonderful process working closely with our service users and staff to consider what makes our ASC unit special and capture our environment in our branding. The people living here are the beating heart of the unit and it is important to us that they have a say in the big decisions and changing our brand is one of them.”