Inspectors Give Top Marks For St Leonard’s Court

by Heather Peebles

Tuesday, April 8th, 2014

One of Blackwood's ResidentsAn Ayrshire housing support service has received a ringing endorsement from Scotland’s care watchdog  following a recent inspection.

Blackwood’s St Leonard’s Court, in Ayr, achieved top marks in its Care Inspectorate report for both quality of care and support and quality, which were awarded grades of five – meaning they are rated as “very good”.

Additionally the quality of management and leadership was rated highly awarded with a ‘good’ grade of four.  The care inspectorate grades the most important aspects of care on a scale from 1-6, where six is “excellent”.

Irene Morrison, the Service Manager who has 18 years of experience with Blackwood, said she was delighted with the feedback but insists that there is no room for complacency.

She added: “It is highly encouraging to have achieved such positive feedback from the Care Inspectorate and it is a real reflection of our team’s consistent hard work to go that extra mile for our tenants.

“Underlying our success is the Blackwood ethos to take a person-centred approach to ensure our services meet each and every individual’s unique needs.

“To achieve this our team works hard to get to know our tenants so that we have a tailored plan of care designed especially to fit in with their individual lifestyle and personal requirements.


“It was fantastic to see the Care Inspectorate pick up on this in its report but it is vital that we work hard to maintain this high level of service so that our tenants can continue to see the benefits.”

St Leonard’s Court benefits from a 24 hour staff presence on site, which means tenants can contact a Blackwood member of staff at any time and can be responded to immediately. Additionally, they also offer their support services to individuals out with St Leonard’s Court.

As well as offering a range of care services from cooking and cleaning to assisting with washing and dressing, individuals can also take part in the social activities organised by the Blackwood team, who go to great lengths to help those who require their assistance.

Irene added: “We try our best never to say no when a tenant asks for our help and this has seen our team help our tenants fulfil their dreams by going on holidays to London, the Mediterranean and even Florida.

“For our staff, their work is not just a job, they really enjoy the company of the tenants so are always happy to help when they come to us with suggestions.

“This was clearly evident to the Care Inspectorate as they highlighted that staff empowerment was at a high level with good morale and motivation and it is my intention to ensure this is maintained.

“In addition to this, I am hoping to also ensure that the quality of management and leadership is improved and I have already taken measures to implement a detailed plan for the year ahead so that all staff members are aware of upcoming staff meetings and reviews.

“This should hopefully give us that extra boost that’s required to achieve a top grade which will in turn improve the overall service for our tenants.”

Since it was established more than 40 years ago, Blackwood has provided support that lets people make their own choices and have control over their lives in accommodation that meets their needs. As a result it has an outstanding record of adapting properties to make them accessible.

People who use Blackwood’s services include older people, those with physical or learning disabilities, mental health issues or sensory impairment, so even small adaptations can deliver significant quality of life improvements.

These include minor adaptations, such as lowering the thresholds between rooms for easier wheelchair access, fitting grab rails and installing easy-to-use lever taps. However, they also carry out bigger projects, including installing wet rooms, level access showers and “rise and fall” kitchens.

With 1600 properties and tailored, individual care packages for more than 400 people, Blackwood has embraced the challenges of taking housing and care into innovative areas at a time when funding is increasingly.

Its board and executive team have a clear strategy to ensure a long-term and sustainable future while also helping its customers deal with welfare reforms. An important part of that is a comprehensive asset strategy which maps out Blackwood’s likely property maintenance and investment needs for the next 30 years.

It works in 29 of Scotland’s 32 council areas, working closely with many local authorities, more than any other care or housing provider.




Private: Heather Peebles

Based as a PR in Edinburgh, Heather Peebles is a highly-valued member of the team at Holyrood PR. Her work with the Scottish public relations consultancy sees her advising clients in healthcare, construction, renewables and logistics. As well as delivering numerous successful PR campaigns, she is also experienced in crisis PR and reputation management.

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