"Even when it's busy, the staff always have time for all the guests"

About: Leuchie House

(as a service user),

I recently spent 11 days at Leuchie getting respite from my home environment. I have previously had 4 night breaks, however, I felt I needed more and because I enjoy going to Leuchie, I had no qualms about spending longer there. I have tried several respite homes, but I have found that 3 or 4 nights was my limit.

One of the reasons for Leuchie House being the best is their ethos. Guests come for holidays of 4, 7 or 11 nights. Everyone is an individual who just happens to need more help than others. An indication of the way that the staff think and their commitment to the "Leuchie Way" is shown in the fact that when the house was threatened with closure, due to losing funding, 70% of the staff stayed to work together to get it reopened again only a few months later.

The house itself was built in about 1799 and has extended over the years. Unusually for an old country house the corridors are easily wide enough for wheelchairs.

Although I just want to spend my time there in the beautiful grounds, which I feel are miles from anywhere, they organise trips for you to go on if you wish. They try to accommodate requests wherever possible. As well as trips there are other activities in the house ranging from quiz evenings to a visit from ZooLab.

Of course it's not just what you want to do that has options: the catering is always excellent with a varied menu. There are always two options, one of which is vegetarian, but if you don't like either, the cooks will offer something else. Whether you eat in the dining room, which always has a lively atmosphere, or in your room the food will taste delicious and you may well put on weight during your stay!

My recent holiday was very quiet and staff and guests were able to mingle more than usual and I spent a wonderful time getting to know new people and guests that I have met before.

Even when it's busy the staff always have time for all guests. The staff who speak to the guests are not just carers, but everyone from the boss down.

However, it is not just me that needs to benefit from my time at Leuchie. Although more used to it now, in the past my wife has found it difficult that she needs to take me to what she sees as an institution. I think the fact that Leuchie call staying there, “a holiday” is good too. The fact that I enjoy my stay there so much means that she is happier about leaving me there.

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Responses

Response from Karen Taylor, Head of Operations, Leuchie House

Dear Acky1,

Thank you for taking the time to post comments on your experience of staying at Leuchie House recently. As you know we aim to deliver high quality respite breaks for people and their families living with long-term physical conditions.

We have a great team delivering high quality care but for us it’s about ensuring our guests have a memorable holiday, full of great experiences, providing the opportunity to get away from it all. It is so important that your wife has some time to herself knowing you are being cared for and happy to be here. We were really delighted that you were able to stay with us for 11 nights rather than just the usual 4 nights and it was great to see you connecting with the staff and other guests.

Thank you for the feedback regarding the catering, I will pass this onto Margaret and the team as its lovely to know you enjoyed the home cooked meals. The team work hard to deliver a variety of dishes which are tailor-made to guests’ specialised dietary requirements and it’s one of the reasons so many people come back!

As you say, it was lovely during this holiday when it was slightly quieter for staff to have the opportunity to spend more time with the guests. It’s nice to get to know our guests and spend quality time chatting or taking part in activities. The guests and the staff are what make Leuchie so special.

And as you mention the team really had to band together to fight hard to keep Leuchie open when the MS Society withdrew funding. We are an independent charity and rely on donations and fundraising, as well as additional from the Scottish Government, so we can go on providing this invaluable service for all those people and their families living with long-term physical conditions, such as MS, stroke, Huntington's Disease, Parkinson's, Motor Neurone Disease and cerebral palsy.

Thank you very much for taking the time to post a story on the Care Opinion forum, it is kind of you to spread the word about Leuchie House and what we have to offer. All postings help to increase awareness of our service as well as providing the opportunity to continue to maintain our high level of standards.

It is always a pleasure to have you staying with us and we look forward to seeing you again here soon.

Kind regards,

Karen

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