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NHS Chief Executive apologises to dementia families

Darataigh dementia unit. Credit: ITV Border

The Chief Executive of the NHS in Dumfries and Galloway has apologised to families in Stranraer, after their loved ones were moved from the town's dementia facility.

Darataigh dementia unit was closed temporarily because repairs had to be carried out to the boiler.

However, families then said they had been informed that the closure was permanent, meaning they would have to make the 75-mile trip to Dumfries to visit their loved ones on a permanent basis.

NHS Dumfries and Galloway has since said it will re-open Darataigh for the duration of a six-month consultation into the site's future.

Chief Executive Jeff Ace has now apologised to the families over how they were treated:

I think I need to apologise, we didn't communicate effectively, either about what our current dementia model is, and how Darataigh is used, or how we want dementia services to be in the west of the region."

– Jeff Ace, Chief Executive

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

Flood warnings in Dumfries and Galloway

Flood warnings are in place along the Solway Coast. Credit: SEPA

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency has put a flood alert in place for Dumfries and Galloway, which means coastal flooding is possible during the high tide on Thursday night and Friday morning due to a storm surge and high waves.

A more serious flood warning is in place for the Upper Solway Firth and Loch Ryan.

Storm Abigail will cause strong winds, which, combined with high tides, will result in high waves and overtopping along parts of the Solway coast.

Powfoot in the Upper Solway Firth and Stranraer at Loch Ryan are predicted to be affected by this overtopping.

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


MSP: keep public 'fully informed' in Stranraer project

The harbour is to be regenerated. Credit: ITV Border

Galloway and West Dumfries MSP Alex Fergusson has welcomed new progress in the £50m regeneration of Stranraer Waterfront.

The council has announced its preferred bidder to lead the regeneration of the harbour - Stena Line.

But the MSP has warned the public need to be involved in the project at all stages:

This is the moment for which a lot of people have been waiting for a very long time and, on that basis, I welcome it. However, we have to recognise that this is just the first step in the process and that further proposals will be brought forward as the partnership between the preferred bidder, the Council and Stena progresses. I hope that progress will be swift.

For that to happen, three further steps need to be taken. Firstly, the Scottish Government must commit to this project wholeheartedly; secondly, if the aspirations of the people of Stranraer are to be met (as the preferred bidder has indicated), then those people must be properly engaged in the process and kept fully informed every step of the way; and thirdly, if the local economic impact is to be maximised, it is essential that as much work as possible is carried out by local contractors and companies.

If those three matters can be addressed, then the future for Stranraer and indeed Wigtownshire looks a great deal brighter than it has for some time.”

– Galloway and West Dumfries MSP Alex Fergusson
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