‘Illegally closed’ Hawick day service for the elderly set for restoration

Sean Elliot with fellow campaigners (National World)Sean Elliot with fellow campaigners (National World)
Sean Elliot with fellow campaigners (National World)
The restoration of a vital day service for the elderly which was found by a judge to have been illegally closed by Scottish Borders Council is almost complete.

The council closed all of its six elderly day centres – in Eyemouth, Kelso, Jedburgh, Galashiels, Peebles and Hawick – in 2019, due to what it claimed was a reduction in user numbers.

Although objections were raised, including a 3,000-signature petition, the local authority stuck by its decision.

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But campaigners led by Sean Elliot rallied in support of reopening the Teviot Day Service, based at the Katharine Elliot Centre in Hawick, and they won a key legal victory last year.

Judge Lady Carmichael ruled that the local authority had failed to conduct an equality impact assessment or properly consulted with service users when it closed.

Subsequently the Teviot and Liddesdale Task and Finish Group identified that there was a need for a day service in the area.

This position has also been endorsed by the Health and Social Care Integration Joint Board.

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The Teviot and Liddesdale Task and Finish group, which comprises of staff from across the Health and Social Care Partnership, carers and public representatives, has now secured a venue and work has commenced to open a day service within Hawick Community Hospital early in 2024.

Following a procurement process, it has been confirmed that the service will be provided by Scottish Borders Council’s Adult Social Care team.

Care Inspectorate registration for the service has been submitted and will take up to three months for approval. During this time, staff recruitment and training will be undertaken and some aesthetic improvements made at the setting.

A visit to the venue was made recently by Teviot Day Service Support Group representatives and Health and Social Care Partnership staff, including the chief officer.

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During the visit, progress to date and the vision and plans for the service, based on what communities have said matters to them, were discussed and further developed. Public representatives were positive about the new site and the progress that is being made.

Councillor David Parker, SBC’s executive member for Health and Wellbeing, said: “Following a review and a procurement process, it is very pleasing to see a new venue being secured for the Teviot Day Service.

“I’d like to thank the Teviot and Liddesdale Task and Finish Group for their continued commitment and very much look forward to the service opening in 2024.”