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Public drop-ins to help shape future of health and social care in Scottish Borders

Susan Manion, Chief Officer for Health and Social Care Integration in the Borders and Cllr Catriona Bhatia, SBC’s Executive Member for Health Service and Chair of the Integrated Joint Board Credit: Scottish Borders Council

People in the Scottish Borders are being asked for their views to help shape the future of health and social care in the area.

Scottish Borders Council is hosting a series of drop-in events so Borderers can take a look at and discuss the council's ‘A conversation with You’ document.

The views and feedback people give at these sessions will then see the document developed into a first draft which will be issued for further public consultation between July and September.

Drop-in sessions are being held at between 6:30pm and 8pm at the following locations:

- Wednesday 20 May – Community Centre, Eyemouth - Thursday 21 May – Heart of Hawick - Monday 25 May – Argus Centre, Selkirk - Tuesday 26 May – Council Chamber, Duns - Thursday 28 May – Burgh Hall, Peebles

“It is crucial that we get the views of as many people as possible to help develop the next draft of our Strategic Plan which will set out our vision for how Scottish Borders Council (SBC) and NHS Borders will deliver adult health and social care services.

“The first draft which is currently available is really just to help us start the conversation with residents – hence why it is called ‘A conversation with You’.

“At this stage, it simply provides an overview of the services we are integrating as well as our proposed vision, aims and objectives for the partnership. We need input from the public before we can go into further detail and this is why attendance at these events is really important.

“There is no need to book a place, just come along and have your say.”

– Susan Manion, Chief Officer for Health and Social Care Integration in the Borders

NHS Borders appeals for return of unused medication

Credit: Press Association

Patients across the Scottish Borders are being urged to return stocks of unused medication after new figures revealed more than £600,000 is wasted each year in the region on unwanted medicines.

NHS Borders is using Medicines Waste Awareness Week (11-15 May) to say to people: "Don't be a Borders hoarder."

Over the course of the week the public are being asked to check their cupboards for stocks of unused or unwanted medicines and return them to their local pharmacy where they can be disposed of safely.

“Many people do not complete a course of medicine, or frequently tick all the boxes on repeat prescriptions, even if those medicines are no longer required. The medicines are then just tidied away into a cupboard and forgotten about. Not only is this a waste of money, but it could also be dangerous if the medicines get into the wrong hands.

“During Medicines Waste Awareness Week we are asking everyone to look inside your cupboards and to return all unwanted and unused medicines to your community pharmacy, where they will be safely disposed off. Elderly people and those with multiple long term conditions may have large stocks of medicines they don’t need, so please encourage your family and friends to do the same, and offer to help elderly relatives or people you care for.

“While you’re at the pharmacy, let the pharmacist take a look at your list of prescribed medicines. They will be able to give you advice on whether you would benefit from a medicines review."

– NHS Borders Director of Pharmacy, Alison Wilson

NHS Borders estimates that at least £600,000 is wasted every year on unused medicine. To put it into context that could pay for:

  • 20 additional nurses per year – GP practice nurses or hospital nurses (which would staff a 15 bedded ward)
  • 250 additional children's operations each year
  • 300 additional births per year
  • 35 additional domestics each year to keep our hospitals clean
  • 10,000 additional physio appointments each year
  • 4,000 additional outpatient appointments each year


Stubbing-out smoking in the Scottish Borders

Credit: PA

Smokers in the Borders are being urged to take the first step towards quitting their habit on No Smoking Day next week.

According to Ash Scotland, studies show that two-thirds of UK smokers want to quit, however nearly one in five UK adults continue to smoke. The rate in the Borders is slightly higher than the UK average, with 22 per cent of adults smoking.

Stop smoking support in the Borders is provided by Quit4Good, a team of specialist stop smoking advisors and community pharmacists. They offer valuable support and encouragement to those wishing to stop smoking.

Quit4Good also provides advice and information on how to prepare to quit, the right nicotine replacement therapy, how to help beat cravings and how to improve quality of life.

For this year’s No Smoking Day - taking place on Wednesday 11 March - the theme is ‘proud to be a quitter'. In life we are told never to give up, to keep going – but when it comes to smoking, being a ‘Quitter’ is a good thing.

The annual campaign is run by the British Heart Foundation (BHF) and encourages hundreds of thousands of smokers to make a quit attempt on No Smoking Day.

“We understand that some smokers do want to stop smoking, but many find the task too daunting. No Smoking Day is the perfect opportunity to inspire smokers in the Borders to quit for good.

“With support, smokers are more likely to succeed in their quit attempt and that is why our smoking cessation advisors will be in the Borders General Hospital foyer on Wednesday 11th March providing advice and information on the range of local services and resources available to help them give up smoking for good.”

– Dr Eric Baijal, Joint Director of Public Health, NHS Borders and Scottish Borders Council

The Quit4Good stop smoking advisors can offer tailored advice to everyone who is looking to stop smoking. This advice is available in various locations in the Borders including Selkirk, Innerleithen, Galashiels, Jedburgh, Duns, Kelso, Eyemouth and Hawick.

If you would like support to stop smoking or would like more information on the NHS Borders Quit4Good Service contact 01835 825971 or email

Morecambe Bay Trust Hospital maternity report released today

- Credit: ITV Border News

An independent report into maternity and neo-natal services at University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay Trust is due to be published today.

Dr Bill Kirkup's report of the investigation into mother and baby deaths at Furness General Hospital in Barrow will be published at midday.


Hospital Trust: 'New hospital is something to celebrate'

The North Cumbria University Hospitals Trust which runs the West Cumberland Hospital say the £90 million redevelopment marks a new era in healthcare for West Cumbria and will be completed in five months.

Our clinical departments will move into the new hospital in spring 2015 and the modern facility offers many state-of-the-art services including seven operating theatres and an integrated emergency floor....the new hospital is something for the local community to celebrate and we look forward to providing high quality care in a modern environment.”

– Dr Jeremy Rushmer, medical director for North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust

Over 100 expected at Whitehaven hospital protest

Over 100 campaigners are marching through Whitehaven in protest at changes to the West Cumberland Hospital.

They're concerned services could be moved further away and have gathered over 6,500 signatures on their petition over the last month.

"People should be able to get the best treatment possible at the West Cumberland Hospital, rather than travelling to Carlisle or even Newcastle. Travelling that far could mean the difference between life and death."

– Siobhan Gearing, 26-year old campaigner

North Cumbria NHS Hospital Trust is drawing up its plans for the next 5 years. It needs to save £30 million and says current spending would leave a gap of another £20 million.

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