Crumhaugh axe to fall

Crumhaugh House
Crumhaugh House

CRUMHAUGH House is to close.

That is the recommendation being put to the board of NHS Borders in the next few weeks.

And, if the plans are approved by health chiefs, the building could be empty in a matter of months.

Endless speculation and uncertainty came to a head on Monday night when bosses from NHS Borders confirmed the facility is pencilled in to shut as part of the Teviot In-Patient Redesign Project.

The move will save the authority £1million although they have promised to invest half of that back into improving community services. And they have stressed there will be no compulsory redundancies, with staff redeployed across the region.

But Hawick and Denholm councillor Stuart Marshall said: “I really do fear that NHS Borders are phasing out a first-class facility in order to try and balance the books and the people of Hawick are going to be at a real disadvantage at the end of the day.

“I came here tonight hoping to hear something positive about the future of Crumhaugh House and I’m very sorry this hasn’t happened.”

The proposals will see a 24-bed facility at the community hospital, with the closure of Crumhaugh’s Teviot Bank and the long-stay Wilton View unit for dementia sufferers.

Instead, patients will be encouraged to stay at home with the promise of improved care services in the community, while those suffering from severe dementia will be transfered to Melburn Lodge at Borders General Hospital.

Dr Cliff Sharp, associate medical director mental health, said: “It’s not possible to have an in-patient unit in every town, on every street, but we will work with individuals. The whole point is not having people in hospital in the first place.”