Fife care home manager and deputy retire after 38 years never missing day at work

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The dynamic duo will enjoy their retirement party on May 25 at Balcarres

A care home manager and deputy manager are both retiring after 38-years served together in the social care sector - having both never missed a day of work.

Lynn McLean and Vera Scrimgeour, HC-One Scotland’s Balcarres Care Home Manager and Deputy Manager, in Dundee, will celebrate their retirement on May 25, 2024, after lengthy careers spanning almost four decades together.

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Lynn started working in the social care sector as head of house at Balcarres Care Home. Lynn initially helped the team to welcome and care for new residents, but soon became deputy manager. Lynn subsequently became the home manager at HC-One Scotland’s Balnacarron Care Home, in St Andrews, in 1987. She spent twelve “very happy” years there, where she helped increase occupancy levels.

HC-One Scotland's Balcarres Home Manager Lynn McLean and Deputy Manager Vera ScrimgeourHC-One Scotland's Balcarres Home Manager Lynn McLean and Deputy Manager Vera Scrimgeour
HC-One Scotland's Balcarres Home Manager Lynn McLean and Deputy Manager Vera Scrimgeour

Lynn was contacted again by Balcarres Care Home, regarding the position of home manager. Sheinitially offered her services to support Balcarres on an interim basis until they secured a long-term home manager.

However, she has remained in the role since 1999. Lynn undertook a management degree at university, attended night classes and weekend seminars, and gained a driver’s licence - all whilst managing the home.

Lynn has continuously achieved high Care Inspectorate ratings at Balcarres. The home recently maintained its ‘exceptionally high-quality care’ and ‘outstanding leadership’ ratings to achieve the highest Care Inspectorate rating of grade six.

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Lynn is known for arriving at work every day with a smile on her face - demonstrating her loyalty and ethos that she could “never let anybody down”. Lynn excelled in person-centred care and there has not been a colleague, resident or relative who did not have a deep appreciation of her unstinting work ethic.

Balcarres Care Home deputy manager, Vera Scrimgeour, has been on the same journey as Lynn, and the pair are known as ‘Vera Lynn’. Lynn described Vera as her “right hand” and honoured her deputy manager by adding that her love and passion for her profession is a “joy to behold”.

Lynn and Vera will be greatly missed by many colleagues and residents. The pair’s final shifts will take place on May 25.

Speaking on her retirement, Lynn said: “We’ve always referred to ourselves as the Balcarres family. My team includes carers and a laundry assistant that have been with me for over 25-years, my administrator has been here 15-years, and my chef has been here 30-years. I have been so lucky, but I am getting older. My husband also recently retired, and we would like to spend more time together. Leaving will devastate me, but I must step away. I will continue working to my own high standards until my last moment at Balcarres.”

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Lynn helped to build a “new village” at Balcarres during the pandemic, with a coffee shop called Vino’s Brew, a bistro named The Café, and Dandy’s Candy sweet shop. All the amenities remain close to the home, which provides comfort and convenience for residents and relatives.

Vera stated: “It has been hilarious working with Lynn during our 38-years together. We could write a book about all our experiences. We have worked through thick and thin together and she has been a great manager. I have loved every minute working here. It has been a great experience, and I shall truly miss it. I am proud of our high Care Inspectorate grades throughout our careers, especially for the residents and their families.”

Janet Kermack, Senior Area Director for HC-One Scotland, said: “Lynn will be sorely missed at Balcarres and as part of the wider team, as she was always the first to share ideas and initiatives. At present, we are interviewing for a home manager. In the interim, the home will be managed by one of our relief managers supported by Katheen Doyle, who will be the new deputy home manager.”

Maxine Smedley, managing director for HC-One Scotland and Wales, commented: “I am hugely inspired by Lynn’s commitment to social care and Balcarres. Lynn’s passion is contagious and her reputation as a bubbly, enthusiastic and charming host of her home is known by everyone at Balcarres. We will undoubtedly miss her, but I know that the impact that she has had will continue through the actions of others.”

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The dynamic duo will enjoy their ‘Vera Lynn Going Away Party’ on May 25 at Balcarres. All colleagues, residents, and their relatives are invited to join the festivities, which will include live entertainment, refreshments, and stalls.

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