Care Inspectorate


The Care Inspectorate became the independent regulator of social care and social work services across Scotland, replacing the Care Commission in 2011.

They regulate, inspect and support the improvement of care, social work and child protection services for the benefit of the people who use them. They regulate various kinds of organisations including local authorities, individuals, businesses, charities and voluntary organisations.

The Care Inspectorate made an unannounced inspection to Birchwood Highland Recovery Centre in March 2016 and we were awarded consistent excellent grades across the service.

‘Quality of Care and Support’ was rated 6 (Excellent).
‘Quality of Environment’, was rated 6 (Excellent).
‘Quality of Staffing’ was rated 6 (Excellent).
‘Quality of Management and Leadership’ was rated 6 (Excellent).

The Recovery Centre has consistently achieved Excellent or Very Good grades since grading commenced. A fact that we’re all very proud of, along with our Recovery Centre’s staff commitment as below:

download (1).jpeg

"This service’s staff demonstrate excellent values including a clear ethos of respect. 

Staff have a very clear focus and understanding of the recovery model. This helped to promote independence and responsibility from the first point of contact with people. 

Whilst staff have keyworking roles it remains evident that a whole team approach is also in use. This means that the team work very closely together to ensure that everyone is able to provide the support that service users require."

In their announced inspection of Birchwood Highland Housing Support and Care at Home services in October 2016, the Care Inspectorate rated ‘Quality of Staffing’ and ‘Quality of Care and Support’ at Grade 6, ‘Excellent’.

Statements from service users in the report attested to the positive impact Birchwood’s assistance makes:

The staff are friendly, understanding and easy to approach and available when I need them and I feel from the staff that it is about me that counts.

I am a new user of Birchwood Highland. Find both staff and users very friendly and helpful – generous too! Looking forward to being with them. Feel that I am taking a positive step in becoming involved with them.

My support worker is excellent. She has improved my life for the better. She takes care of my needs and puts up with a lot.
— Birchwood Highland Service User

You can access the Care Inspectorate’s Inspection Reports in detail on their website at under Inspection Reports.

Birchwood Highland Recovery Centre shortlisted for Principles into Practice (PIP) Award 2013

The Recovery Centre is delighted to have received a nomination for a PIP Award in the category of Long Term Mental Illness and Recovery (this category is sponsored by the Scottish Recovery Network,

The principles provide professionals with a framework for working with service users and the PIP Awards celebrate the best practice in mental health care. The Recovery Centre has shown how they have embraced the principles and made a real difference to the care of service users as a result.

Donald Lyons, Chief Executive of the Mental Welfare Commission, in his introductory speech, said that it was a major achievement for any organisation to have been shortlisted for an award, and that the organisations at the awards were showing exemplary practise in Scotland.

“Being shortlisted for this award has been a great confirmation of the Recovery Centre’s on-going commitment to Principles into Practice and to our dedication to giving the best care possible to our service users.” – Emily Stokes, Chief Executive, Birchwood Highland.

Promoting and Supporting Recovery

As a member of the Scottish Recovery Network and the more recently formed Highland Recovery Network, Birchwood Highland is committed to promoting and supporting recovery from long-term mental health problems.

We work to the 10 Essential Shared Capabilities (Scotland) – learning materials developed by NHS Education for Scotland (NES). They are relevant to people in all roles and settings who are involved in mental health work – including service users, families and carers, managers, practitioners, volunteers, peer support workers and all workers within the wider mental health community. Working through the activities has helped us develop our recovery-focused approach to mental health.

Wellness Recovery Action Planning (WRAP)

WRAP is a ‘self-management tool’ used in many countries around the world to help individuals take more control over their wellbeing and recovery; recognising that people are the experts on themselves. We aim to provide WRAP training to all our support staff.

We audit our services against the Scottish Recovery Indicator, a mental health service development tool. This tool has been designed by the Scottish Recovery Network to help mental health services ensure that their activities are focused on supporting the recovery of the people who use their services. In doing so it highlights issues in relation to inclusion, rights, equality and diversity.

Signing the ‘See Me’ Pledge


Birchwood Highland has joined the growing number of organisations across Scotland that have signed the See Me Pledge.

The Pledge text reads:

'We are committed to working alongside the ‘see me….’ campaign to challenge the stigma associated with mental ill-health, and have agreed an action plan to end the discrimination experienced by people with mental health problems.’

We signed the Pledge on Friday 26th April 2013, at a ceremony held during our fundraising fashion show at Millburn Academy, Inverness.

We have developed an action plan which commits us to taking actions in our roles as an employer, a service provider, and an organisation that can influence the wider community.

The action plan will include awareness raising using a variety of media and materials, staff training that will involve tackling stigma and discrimination, and service user involvement in staff appraisal, recruitment and joint training sessions.

Support us by Donating