NHS Borders bosses defend changes to Peebles counselling services

NHS Borders is aiming to reassure residents that mental health support is still available in Peebles.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 24th October 2019, 12:00 am
Updated Thursday, 24th October 2019, 4:49 pm
NHS Borders.
NHS Borders.

The health board came in for criticism after it axed its counselling service in the town this month.

A spokeswoman said: “We would like to clarify that the decision to amend the local service in Peebles was taken jointly with the local GP practice and was informed by the discussions with the GPs. While the previous counsellor will no longer be providing a service in Peebles the local community will continue to be able to access either specialist mental health and / or psychology services through a referral from their GP if this is required. In addition, either by self-referral or by a referral from their GP patients will also be able to access our Wellbeing advisor service.

“This service will provide mental health and wellbeing support and is available in communities across the Borders. Individuals who access this service can be seen in Peebles and are likely to have a shorter wait than was previously required to access the Peebles counselling service. Our advisors are trained to provide emotional wellbeing support to those who require it.

“Where necessary our team will refer patients on to psychological or mental health services to receive appropriate specialist treatment.

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    “These changes mean that the Peebles community will continue to able to access emotional support and there is no reduction in mental health input to the community.

    “It should also be emphasised that this decision was not made to reduce access to services or to save money and the funding released from the counselling service will be re-invested into local health services in Peebles.

    “NHS Borders will be advised by the local GP practice on the best way to use these resources to support the overall health of the practice population.”