Vital day service for the elderly set to return within months

A vital Borders day service for the elderly is set to return within months after a court judgement ruled its closure unlawful.
Sean Elliot with fellow campaignersSean Elliot with fellow campaigners
Sean Elliot with fellow campaigners

Scottish Borders Council failed to properly consider the needs to its members when it closed Teviot Day Service, based in Hawick’s Katharine Elliot Centre, in 2019, a judge ruled in September last year.

Lady Carmichael said the local authority did not contemplate the impact the closure would have and ruled the action ‘unlawful’, while ordering it to reconsider its decision.

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Council leader Euan Jardine later admitted the council had ‘got it wrong’ and now the service is poised to reopen and be relocated in Hawick Community Hospital.

The aim is for the service to be re-established before September and operate on a daily basis, offering activities and support to 14 people.

The development has been welcomed by Teviot Day Service campaigner Sean Elliot, who has fought a long battle to get it back up and running.

Mr Elliot also praised Chris Myers, chief officer for the Scottish Borders Health and Social Care Partnership and Integration Joint Board, for his handling of the process.

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He said: “There’s a wing in the community hospital where the day service used to be run from before it moved to the Katharine Elliot Centre and that is sitting unused at the moment and it requires very little change to comply with the Care Inspectorate requirements, so it is actually a better facility and we’re happy with it moving there.

“I have to say it has been done properly this time but we have gone through what we should have done pre-2019 and sadly the only reason we have gone through this is because of the court case. If we hadn’t had a successful court case against SBC this would not have happened.

“Having said that this has been done properly and I have a fair bit of respect for the way that Chris Myers has tackled this process. The public engagement has been done properly.

“We’re currently going through the decision process as to who will actually be providing the service and we’re happy with the way that is going too and we should get a service back up and running that is at least commensurate with what we had in 2019, if not a better service.

“The positive thing for the rest of the Borders is that the Eildon locality is next for recommencing the service that also closed there in 2019.”