Community Hospitals Update

Scottish Borders Health and Social Care Partnership is reviewing services provided from our four Community Hospitals to ensure they are fit for the future. This will consider the changing needs of our population and the way in which health and social care should be provided to best meet these needs.

In response to separate circumstances concerning the provision of medical cover in Kelso and Knoll (Duns) Community Hospitals from the end of March 2024, last year NHS Borders commenced an urgent review of the medical care model that supports all four Community Hospitals, to ensure we can continue to provide an effective and sustainable model of service that meets needs.

Whilst medical cover remains stable in Hawick and Hay Lodge Community Hospitals, long term arrangements for the provision of medical cover at Kelso and the Knoll have not yet been secured.

At today’s meeting of the Integration Joint Board (15 May 2024) Dr Lynn McCallum, Medical Director and Dr Tim Young, Associate Medical Director and GP stressed the imperative for safe and stable medical cover in Community Hospitals.

Dr McCallum said; “I accept and understand the concerns of the people who live in Kelso and Duns. Having worked in the Knoll for three months I recognise the incredible care that is given in Community Hospitals and the value of being close to home to have your care delivered. “However, I must be very clear that no patient can be cared for in an environment where there is not medical cover in place. “We are working extremely hard to manage this risk and stabilise medical cover in Kelso and the Knoll, however if we cannot do this there may be a requirement for a temporary closure of beds in these Community Hospitals for patient safety reasons.”

Executive Director for Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Health Professionals, Sarah Horan added; “I would like to commit my support to Doctors McCallum and Young. I want to assure the Board that we are working collectively and exploring all avenues to find a safe and practical solution for this issue.”

At this moment in time no decision has been taken to temporarily close beds. If, for patient safety reasons, this is necessary on a temporary basis, associated communications will be issued from the Health and Social Care Partnership