A demand is being issued for a review of services for vulnerable adults across the Borders following a Hawick care firm’s announcement that it is closing, putting 25 jobs at risk.
Hawick Care Company, formed in 1998, currently provides 500 hours of care a week, and a replacement is now being sought to look after its clients.
The firm, based at the Crown Business Centre in Hawick High Street, is to cease trading soon as it says it is no longer able to keep going.
However, its management, led by managing director Laura Douglas, has agreed to delay its closure until its customers, including Scottish Borders Council, are able to find alternative care providers.
That news comes despite the company receiving a glowing report from the Care Inspectorate last month describing its quality of care provision and management as very good.
The company’s impending closure has prompted Hawick honorary provost Watson McAteer to call on the council to review how such care services are provided.
The Hawick and Hermitage councillor said: “I had heard that this company was planning to cease trading, but I understand they have promised to continue until the council are able to find a suitable alternative.
“It is very concerning that care for vulnerable people in Hawick is under so much pressure, and this latest announcement must result in a full review of how services are being supported across the Borders.
“Losing Hawick Care Company at this time will inevitably stretch resources, and everything must be done to ensure that those in need do not suffer hardship as a result.”
A council spokesman said: “Unfortunately, the council has received notice from Hawick Care Company that it is no longer able to sustain the services provided to Scottish Borders Council and other clients.
“The council is working with the company, other providers and service users to ensure that service continuity is protected, and a tender for the relevant services will be published shortly.
“Hawick Care Company has committed to maintaining its services until a new provider is found through the tendering process.”
Hawick and Denholm councillor Stuart Marshall praised the company’s staff and said he hopes they will soon find alternative work, possibly with whichever provider takes over from Hawick Care Company.
He said: “I am deeply saddened to learn that the Hawick Care Company has decided to cease trading.
“This is a company that has provided outstanding, high-quality care to hundreds of townsfolk over some two decades.
“I know many of the employees personally, and they were absolutely committed to the job.
“One can only hope, because of their skills in providing such care, that all of them will be absorbed into other care companies throughout the town.”
A spokesperson for the company declined to comment, although a source at the firm did say the closure decision had been taken only with regret.