Crumhaugh House could soon be open to patients once again as Scottish Borders Health and Social Care Partnership has confirmed that it is now seeking new ways to utilise the vacant building.
The former 35-bedroom residential care home closed in July 2012. Since then, plans had been in place to relocate the NHS Borders mental health rehabilitation service from East Brigs in Galavale, Galashiels to the site.
However, those plans were scrapped last year as a result of changes in the provision of the service at Galavale.
Speaking at Teviot and Liddesdale Area Locality Committee meeting, Elaine Torrence, Scottish Borders Council’s chief social work officer, told members: “I was speaking to the premises people in NHS Borders and they’ve asked us to have a look around the premises to see what it can offer and if there’s any scope for utilising that building in a way that meets the requirements of the plan.
“We are going to try and get some estates people and service managers in there to have a look around and see if does meet the requirements, and I can’t say that it will, then there has very much been an offer to say we can utilise it in a different way.”
It comes as a public consultation continues on the council’s health and social care locality plans for Teviot and Liddesdale. They focus on recommendations from the Health and Social Care Partnership’s Strategic Plan and the way health and social care services will be delivered across the five localities during 2017-19.
The services will be delivered in response to increase in demand due to a rise in the population over 65 years of age, increasing pressure on resources due to that rise in demand and the desire to the improve health and social care experience.
Hawick and Hermitage councillor George Turnbull told the Hawick News: “There are far too many empty buildings within the town and instead of looking at using green field sites every aspect should be looked at to revitalise as many of our redundant buildings and breathe new life back into them. If Crumhaugh was found to be a suitable unit it would save so much travel for family members visiting their loved ones as it not everyone that drives a car and public transport does not always marry into the needs of the travelling public.”
A spokesperson for NHS Borders confirmed the exploration into whether there are alternative uses for building.
Originally built in the 1990’s, the building was previously on the open market during 2013 with an asking price of £200,000, but failed to attract a buyer.