HEALTH bosses have rubber-stamped the relocation of a mental health rehab unit from Galashiels.

NHS Borders board members agreed last week to proposals to move the Tweed Road ward to Hawick during next year.

A lack of space at the former Cottage Hospital site led to a review process being launched last summer.

The project team, which included representatives of service users, considered four different locations. And their recommendations for Crumhaugh House, which is a former community hospital, were accepted.

Dr Cliff Sharp, associate medical director for mental health, told us: “In its current location, ward staff are presented with real challenges including patient observation and a lack of therapeutic space, which has an impact on patient recovery times.

“The option to relocate to Crumhaugh House, which was successfully utilised for inpatient care by the Mental Health service whilst Huntlyburn Ward in Melrose was refurbished a couple of years ago, addresses the patient safety issues that we are currently facing, and will provide patients with a high quality, safe, equitable and accessible service.” Galashiels Cottage Hospital was opened on Tweed Road in 1895 by the Earl of Dalkeith.

It became a maternity unit in the mid 20th century.

And following a period of closure the Gala Vale wards were re-opened by Borders Primary Care NHS Trust as a rehabilitation unit for patients with long-term mental health problems.

But the East/West Brigs Ward doesn’t meet the standards required for the future of the mental health rehabilitation business case.

The current 16 patient beds at Galashiels will be reduced to 13 during the switch.

But all 28 staff members will relocate to the former community hospital in Hawick, which closed three years ago.

Dr Sharp added: “This is a good move for NHS Borders and for the people of Hawick. We are looking forward to being good neighbours.” The meeting heard that the switch would require a capital investment of £1.87 million in Crumhaugh House which failed to attract a buyer when it was put on the market in 2013 at an asking price of £200,000.

The site at Galavale is likely to be sold off.

A spokesperson for NHS Borders said: “The future use of the Galavale site will be considered as part of NHS Borders estates rationalisation programme.”