Hopes rise for a U-turn on the closure of a day care service in the Borders

Hopes have risen for the return of buildings-based day care services for older people across the Borders after a review was announced.

By Paul Kelly
Wednesday, 1st December 2021, 2:28 pm
Sean Elliot, fourth from the left, with members of Teviot Day Service Support Group.
Sean Elliot, fourth from the left, with members of Teviot Day Service Support Group.

A number of day care centres across the Borders were closed in 2019 and at the outset of the pandemic in March last year, the last remaining facility, the Teviot Day Service, which operated at the Katharine Elliot Centre at Howdenbank in Hawick, closed its doors.

The service has been shut since that time and has been subject to a decommissioning process.

But a Teviot Day Service Support Group has been campaigning for its return, led by Sean Elliot.

Hawick councillors Stuart Marshall and Watson McAteer have supported the campaign. (Photo: BILL McBURNIE)

Mr Elliot is adamant there is a vital need for day care services across the Borders and has been critical of what he claims is the council’s refusal to respond to the needs of older people and their carers.

This week the support group presented a near-3,000 signed petition to the council’s audit and scrutiny committee calling for the Hawick service to be reopened.

And committee members agreed to refer the matters surrounding the closure to the Integrated Joint Board (IJB), a joint NHS/council body, which is also to assess the needs for building-based services, looking at social care and day care services in the Borders.

Mr Elliot is hopeful the move is a positive development.

He said: "I was satisfied with the hearing we were given and I think the referral to the IJB is a good one because they actually commission services, so they instruct the administration to implement and commission services that they make a decision on.

Mr Elliot, whose mother Madge, 93, a well-known Borders Rail campaigner, attended Teviot Day Service, added: “The catch-22 is Scottish Borders Council say Teviot Day Service is closed and they are not reopening it but it is not yet decommissioned.

"It is still in a decommissioning process because there are still two people who attended previously for which suitable alternatives have not been identified yet. In doing so the council have prevented health workers and social workers from referring new people to Teviot Day Service.”