Balhousie specialist care unit appoints new general manager

Balhousie Care Group has appointed a new general manager at its advanced specialist care unit in Perthshire.

Alan Graham, a learning disability nurse with eight years of clinical experience, joined Balhousie ASC in September 2017 as a Positive Behaviour Support (PBS) nurse practice development lead. He then progressed to the general manager role across ASC’s four units based in Balbeggie: Dalguise, Orchard Court, The Grange and the Bungalows.

In his nursing career, Alan has worked closely with adults with learning disabilities, challenging behaviours and mental health issues. Prior to training to become a learning disability nurse, Alan was a sports coach where he regularly worked with children with learning disabilities. His training to be a learning disability nurse was a natural progression for him.

Alan, who took up his new position this month, said he was keen to continue the “excellent” work at the ASC unit – 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. In July, ASC received two ‘excellent’ Grade 6 ratings from the Care Inspectorate for ‘Care and Support’ and ‘Management and Leadership’. Alan said:

“These past few months have been really exciting for ASC and I am proud to have been part of the team when we received the Grade 6 ratings from the Care Inspectorate. In my new role, I hope to continue this excellent work, providing personalised care for our service users and continuing to develop a positive behaviour support team within the units.”

Being able to make a difference to people’s lives through offering the best care and support is what Alan enjoys most about his work. He added:

“As cheesy as it sounds, it’s about doing the small things, the things that aren’t always obvious, and doing them right. That’s when you see how something small can make a huge difference to one of our service users. It’s the best part of what we do – making a difference.”

The Perthshire-based specialist care facility was awarded its Grade 6 ratings from the Care Inspectorate after introducing person-centred enhancements to its pre-admission processes and creating additional support staff positions to increase the range of indoor and outdoor activities available to service users.

These top ratings have coincided with an exciting rebranding for Balhousie’s ASC unit. 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.