Plans for £8.5m care home in Hawick unveiled after U-turn by council bosses

Guthrie Drive in Hawick.Guthrie Drive in Hawick.
Guthrie Drive in Hawick. | WWW.FLIPPHOTOGRAPHY.CO.UK
An £8.5m residential care home inspired by pioneering dementia treatment units in the Netherlands is being planned in Hawick.

Scottish Borders Council bosses have revealed plans for a 60-bed residential care home, accompanied by 40 extra care housing units and 12 learning disability housing units, on land south-east of Guthrie Drive at Stirches.

The complex is based on care village complexes pioneered in Holland, with part of the care home being made up of small streetscapes to remind dementia sufferers how they used to live in their own homes.

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If the plans, submitted by Edinburgh firm JM Architects on the council’s behalf, are approved, that will lead to the eventual closure of the council’s 35-bed Deanfield Care Home at Roadhead in Hawick.

The move is a U-turn as the council had originally planned to invest £2.8m in making that 1987-built home, currently being part-used by NHS Borders as a Covid-19 response centre, fit for purpose after it was found to have fallen below acceptable standards.

That rethink over its future has been welcomed by Hawick and Hermitage councillor Watson McAteer, saying: “Deanfield will close eventually. It has been given a new lease of life recently, with the top section being used for NHS patients discharged from the Borders General Hospital.

“A new care facility for Hawick was agreed during the council’s February budget meeting and is very welcome, providing the town and the local community with much-needed modern facilities for an ever-increasing number of clients.

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“I understand this new facility will feature an innovative design that follows a village concept successfully implemented in Holland.

“In that regard, the Guthrie Drive site appears to be an ideal location situated on the edge of the town in a quiet location, and I hope progress can be made quickly.”

A public consultation event is planned over the proposed Guthrie Drive development and the proposals are also to be presented to Hawick Community Council, with dates for both events dependent on the ongoing Covid-19 outbreak.

Hawick and Denholm councillor Stuart Marshall also welcomes the new care home development as the land lined up to host it, next to Stirches Primary School, has been unused for several years.

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He said: “I think townsfolk will be pleased that such an investment in the future of our care facilities is now on the cards.

“I know there will still be many questions that require answering, and I feel its absolutely vital that both residents in the Stirches area and indeed the rest of the town should have an important role to play during the consultation process itself, and I’m delighted that such an important exercise of engaging with the community will now form part of this planning application.

“This investment is very much needed in Hawick, and if the green light is finally given, then our town will also benefit from a large piece of land that has lain dormant for many years.”

Healthcare watchdogs were called into Deanfield Care Home in August last year after concerns were raised that standards there had fallen below acceptable standard.

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