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NHS Borders awarded in top 40 UK trusts

NHS Borders has been named as one of the top 40 hospital trusts in the UK. They were awarded the prise by the CHKS - a body providing quality improvement services to 400 hospitals across the UK.

The award is based on 22 key performance criteria including safety, healthy outcomes, efficiency and patient experience.

Every NHS acute trust is included in the analysis of publicly available datasets.

Stress less with the help of NHS Borders

NHS Borders is running four weeks of Stress Management classes throughout May.

The classes are designed to advise people on how to cope with everyday challenges that can lead to different forms of stress.

The free classes are taking place at Peebles and Jedburgh Libraries from Thursday 1 May.

“Through our stress management classes we hope to educate people about the common signs and effects of stress, equip them with some practical skills and techniques to relieve the symptoms, and give advice to help manage stress more effectively in the future.

“Our classes are open to everyone and they are free. You may want to come along for your own benefit, or to gain knowledge and skills to help you support a family member or friend overcome stress. In either case you are sure to gain some value by taking part. “

– Sinead Murray, Psychology Clinical Associate & programme organsier

The programme will run as follows:

  • Week 1 Understanding stress
  • Week 2 Improving sleep and relaxation
  • Week 3 Managing thoughts that bother you
  • Week 4 Feeling better about yourself

For more information visit


'Parking Fiasco' at Borders General Hospital

Staff at Borders General Hospital have taken to Facebook to complain about changes to the hospital car parks.

Two of the six car parks have been changed to short stay, making it easier for patients to park for an appointment.

However, staff say the move has left them with nowhere to park in hospital grounds, and are now finding other areas to park for the day.

The Facebook Group 'BGH Parking Fiasco' says "staff can no longer park in the ground without potentially being fined £40-£90 for coming to work to save lives and look after people".

NHS Borders say there is plenty of parking provision, with 1,000 spaces available for staff and patients.

Borderers to explore future health

Residents in the Borders are being asked to find out more about health issues they face in the future.

'Fact or Fantasy? Your Health 2020' is a report by NHS Borders and Scottish Borders Council, exploring what the region's health will be like in 2020.

Students from Walkerburn and Langlee Primary schools are attending a consultation session about the report, looking at what is fact and what is fiction.

4x4 volunteer 'army'

Malcolm Gibson, Lothian 4X4 Response volunteer. Credit: ITV Border

Malcolm Gibson is one of the 30 volunteers with the Lothian 4X4 Response groupHe says:

"If the roads get snowed or flooded, we can sometimes get through where other vehicles can't and we feel we can make a difference to help people get on. 4X4's don't always get the best of press, and we thought we could try to remedy that."


4X4 enthusiasts to help in bad weather

A group of motoring enthusiasts have signed an agreement with NHS Borders and Scottish Borders Council to help out during severe winter weather.

The Lothian 4 X 4 response group will provide transport to those requiring medical or social care.

The group will work alongside Lothian and Borders Police, Scottish Ambulance Service, mountain rescue teams and the British Red Cross.

Scottish Borders Council's Emergency Planning Officer Jim Fraser says:

"During any severe weather emergency where transport becomes an issue there exists within the Scottish Borders, a multi-agency severe weather transport group, which is mobilised to the Council HQ in Newtown St Boswells. The objective of this group is to manage all the transport requirements from SBC's Social Work department and NHS Borders. It aims to help anyone who requires assistance within our communities to get to hospital, or to receive medical or social care.

"In the winter of 2010 during the heavy snow we identified that a large number of people within our communities needed access to hospital for essential treatment like dialysis and radiotherapy. SBC and NHS staff also require access to communities to provide social and medical care on a daily basis. The transport group triage's the requests to ensure that the available transport is used efficiently and effectively."

– Jim Fraser , Scottish Borders Council's Emergency Planning Officer

Leader of SBC, Councillor David Parker added:

"Members of the Lothian 4X4 Group, which is charitable organisation, have the experience and expertise to control these vehicles when conditions can be especially tricky, and they are also fully trained in first aid. This is a great resource which is now available to us in the Scottish Borders so I am very pleased that this agreement is in place."

– Councillor David Parker, Leader of Scottish Borders Council

Threatened withdrawal of hydrotherapy pool

Managers at NHS Borders are being asked to reconsider plans to close the hydrotherapy pool at Borders General Hospital.

MSP Christine Grahame was contacted by a number of constituents following the revelation that the pool would closed by the end of the year.

"I was contacted by a senior health professional this week who told me that senior physiotherapists had resigned but the Chief Executive of NHS Borders assures me this is not the case.

"If it had been true it would be an unacceptable position to put members of staff in.

"The health board has suggested that people who currently use the facility, such as those with rheumatoid arthritis, stroke patients and those with cancer, could use their local swimming pool as an alternative but this is simply not an option for most people."

– Midlothian South, Tweeddale and Lauderdale MSP Christine Grahame

Ms Grahame said she was contacted by several patients, one of who was very upset at the prospect of the unit closing as it had been a vital part of her treatment for rheumatoid arthritis.

"To expect people with this crippling disorder, not to mention those recovering from stroke, to attend a local swimming pool where conditions will be far from ideal, is simply outrageous.

"I believe there will also be an oncology unit built on site so surely a hydrotherapy pool would be an asset, if not a necessity, for such patients' recovery.

"I await a response form NHS Borders on this matter, which is affecting hundreds of people in my constituency alone, let alone the rest of the region."

– Midlothian South, Tweeddale and Lauderdale MSP Christine Grahame