Leuchie - officially the best place in the world!

by Emma Jenson, Head of Care.

I’ve never felt more proud, more frustrated or more certain that we have the very best team to work with here at Leuchie.

In October last year, after working as a nurse at Leuchie for 12 years I started in the role of Head of Care, meaning that I am directly responsible to the Care Inspectorate for the standard of care delivered by the team at Leuchie.

My first big challenge was in February, when the Care Inspectorate arrived to do their unannounced annual inspection. I know that we’ve all worked really hard to make Leuchie the best it can be but I was really nervous about the inspection, I should have known better!

The feedback from the inspector, who is one of those best described as ‘firm but fair’ was FANTASTIC ! All of our efforts to improve how we work, our investment in technology to improve care planning, our training and our work to upgrade our facilities was all recognised.

I could hardly believe it when the report was published a few weeks ago and we were awarded 4 grade 6’s and a grade 5. 6 is the highest score you can get and so Leuchie was recognised as being just about the best service of its type in the country! Of course, our guests who come back time and again knew that, but it was great to see it there in writing.

The management team had also done a lot of work on Leuchie’s operating model and running costs in the last year and it was great to see the finances of Leuchie looking more stable and for us to have the money to invest in the organisation’s future.

Then at the end of March the Coronavirus came on the scene. As Kirsty said in her blog, it was devastating to say goodbye to our usual guests and we all began to wonder what we would do, with no guests and no income what would it mean for Leuchie’s future?

The management team were quickly in touch with contacts in the Scottish and local government and in lightning speed we had agreed to offer a step down service to the NHS, helping to bridge the gap between hospital and home for those caught without the care they needed in their community.

We completely closed, deep cleaned, ordered PPE and from the first week in April started to welcome NHS patients.

I was hugely frustrated at first, I love what we do at Leuchie and wanted it to continue. However that wasn’t possible. I’ve been really proud to work in a team that has been able to respond to a real need so quickly and to do so without thought for their own health and safety. This experience has also not only built up relationships in house but also within the wider Health partnerships including local social workers, NHS and pharmacists, and this can only be positive.

And whilst we always knew Leuchie was a special place, it’s now officially the best in the world!