The services provided by the council at Waverley Care Home in Galashiels are set to be transformed in a £200,000-plus revamp.
The changes, which will avoid £2million of building work to keep the home for long-term residents, were discussed on Tuesday.
In 2010 the council agreed, on the back of a review which said the home was no longer fit for purpose as a long-term residential home, to a proposal to provide a mix of 23 beds for short breaks and intermediate care – providing short-term care and rehabilitation.
But, in the intervening years, concerns about whether that addressed the real needs prompted a further review, which was carried out earlier this year.
On the back of that, the social work and housing committee has agreed that 24 beds, offering a mix of short break/respite spaces, intermediate care and assessment beds, will be provided.
The numbers of each will be decided in conjunction with NHS Borders, who will jointly fund the ongoing costs of the assessment spaces.
The council has budgeted £204,000 for the work on Waverley to convert it as necessary, however this is based on a 2009 estimate.
But, councillors were told that a larger pot of capital funds, set aside following the 2010 review of care services, had cash in it to cover the work needed at Waverley and two other homes, which could also be used if necessary. However, this could then impact on the work still to be undertaken at the other homes.
The work at Waverley will take around two years to complete, with existing residents allowed to stay during and after the revamp.
John Paterson, interim head of social care and health, said a ‘commitment’ had been given to all residents on that basis.
The home currently has 28 long-term occupants, three people in short-stay beds and one in respite.
Councillor Jim Torrance questioned what would happen following the loss of the long-term places.
Andrew Lowe, director of social work, responded: “We are remodeling support to provide it in their homes and provide rehabilitation in their homes after being in hospital.
“However, there will always be people requiring some kind of residential setting and we’ll always make sure that is provided for them.”
Once complete, the changes will mean that all 24 places will be provided on the ground floor of the care home, with the council seeking to ‘fully utilise’ the remaining space.
There has been ongoing consultation with residents, families and staff regarding the proposed changes, and this will continue.