Next steps approved for development of Hawick Care Village
Scottish Borders Council has approved the next steps that have been recommended for the development of a new care village facility for Hawick.
Agreement was given at the council meeting held on 26 January for a full business case to be progressed, based on the preferred option that a new build care village is developed on the Stirches site in Hawick owned by Eildon Housing Association. The facility will be co-located with the new extra care housing development Eildon is also looking to provide on the site.
Members also agreed to the reprovisioning of Deanfield residential care home on completion of the care village. A plan will be developed for the decommissioning of the home which will include consultation and engagement with residents, family carers and staff for the duration of the project, with the overall aim of ensuring a smooth transition to the new facility. Proposals will also be developed for the potential future use of the building and grounds.
The transfer of services from Deanfield to a new Hawick care village, and the need for the development of social care and associated health services, will be further considered by the Integration Joint Board at their meeting on 1 February 2023.
There were four options originally identified for consideration as part of the outline business case agreed by the Council and Integration Joint Board in September 2022. These included the refurbishment of Deanfield, partnership with a national private residential care provider, partnership with a national housing management and care company, and co-location of the new care village facility with Eildon Housing Association on the Stirches site.
All options were subject to a non-financial appraisal to measure acceptability, suitability and feasibility based on stakeholder views obtained during the engagement period in 2022. A full financial appraisal was also carried out on the options to refurbish Deanfield and develop a new build on the Stirches site owned by Eildon.
The Deanfield option was noted as being challenging due to the upgrades that would be required to bring it up to Care Inspectorate standards, particularly in terms of ensuring it met current dementia-friendly guidelines. The private residential care provider subsequently withdrew their interest and so were not taken forward in the appraisal process, while the national housing management and care company were unable to identify a suitable site.
Following due consideration of the Eildon Housing Association option, this was recommended to be taken forward.
Councillor David Parker, executive member for health and wellbeing, said: “I would like to commend everyone involved for the extremely robust options appraisal and stakeholder engagement that has been undertaken on behalf of the people of Hawick.
“It is vital that we do all we can to make sure we deliver on our commitment to provide a model of residential care that has been designed specifically to better support the changing needs of older people in Teviot and Liddesdale, alongside providing high-quality care and support aimed at those with complex needs, frailty and dementia. I believe that the work completed so far, along with the next steps that have now been agreed, gives us the best chance of achieving these aims.
“The engagement of Eildon Housing as partners in the project is also to be welcomed. We already have a successful and well-established working relationship with them, not least through the delivery of our extra care housing developments, and I have every confidence that together we will deliver a care village facility that the people of Hawick will be proud of.
“I am conscious that the plans represent a significant change for residents, family carers and staff associated with Deanfield and would like to reassure them that they will be fully engaged and consulted with as the plans progress. Should they have any concerns, however, they shouldn’t hesitate to get in touch as we will more than happy to provide any additional information they might need.”
Nile Istephan, Eildon Housing Association chief executive, said: “We welcome the opportunity to work with colleagues in Scottish Borders Council on the Stirches site to enhance the social care landscape of the locality. We are committed to rolling out the high quality, innovative extra care housing model which provides great options to our older population to live independently within a supported setting.
“There is real excitement that this experience can be further enhanced at Stirches as part of the wider care village concept, and we look forward to engaging with the community, other stakeholders and the wider health and social care community to progress these plans.”
Once completed, the full business case will be presented to council and the Integration Joint Board for further approval.