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Temporary reprieve for Stranraer dementia unit

Darataigh dementia unit. Credit: ITV Border

A Stranraer dementia unit that was suddenly closed to patients in September has been given a temporary reprieve.

NHS bosses say repairs will be carried out to the boiler at the Darataigh facility, so it can accept admissions during a six-month consultation period on its future.

Since the closure patients using Darataigh have been transferred 75 miles to Dumfries.

Petition calls for 'essential' dementia service to remain

The petition. Credit:

An online petition calling for Stranraer's Darataigh dementia unit to remain open, has been signed by almost 1,000 people.

The petition, entitled 'Don't let Darataigh Dementia Service close' reads:

NHS Dumfries & Galloway are to close Darataigh thereby taking away the dementia service from Stranraer and the west of the region. This is an essential service that we must protect if we are not to see yet more services being taken to Dumfries."

– The petition


Councillor calls dementia unit closure 'disgraceful'

Daragaigh dementia unit. Credit: ITV Border

Families in Stranraer say they have been told the town's dementia unit has been permanently closed, meaning they will have a 150 mile round trip to see their loved ones.

But NHS Dumfries and Galloway has not confirmed whether the closure will be permanent, or temporary.

Local councillor Willie Scobie described the closure as "disgraceful", and says it's definitely closed:

It's definitely been closed. I want them to rethink and reverse that decision.

The local feeling is one of anger and frustration at the way that we've been treated yet again. It seems that they close things without any notification or any consultation with the people affected.

These are people who take four hours to get to Dumfries with public transport, it's totally unacceptable. We've got the services and the people that can deliver here that's what we should be doing."

– Cllr Willie Scobie

NHS won't confirm permanent closure of Stranraer dementia unit

The town's Darataigh dementia unit remains closed, but for how long? Credit: ITV Border

Families in Stranraer are having to travel more than 70 miles to Dumfries to see their loved ones, after the town's Darataigh dementia unit closed.

They say they have been told the facility will be permanently shut.

But NHS Dumfries and Galloway bosses haven't confirmed that the closure is permanent, saying only that the boiler had broken down:

Three inpatients were relocated from Darataigh following a boiler failure.

We have been in contact with each of the families affected to ensure that we continue to meet the needs of the patients and their Carers and we are fully committed to continuing the dialogue with the families over the coming weeks and months.”

– Spokesperson for NHS Dumfries and Galloway


WATCH: Playlist for Life

A charity which uses music to help people with dementia has launched a new internet learning programme.

Playlist for Life was founded by broadcaster Sally Magnusson after she saw the benefits music had for her mother.

Staff at Carlingwark House in Castle Douglas - which is part of the national social care charity Community Integrated Care - say the project has been a big success.

Katie Hunter reports:

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