SCOTTISH Borders Council is set to provide £2.8m of emergency investment into a Hawick care home, to correct ‘significant shortcomings’ in its condition. 

Last month, the council’s care company SB Cares called in healthcare watchdogs after it was revealed that services at Deanfield Care Home at Roadhead had fallen below an acceptable standard.

Now, a report set to go before councillors on Thursday September 26 asks elected members to re-allocate £2.8m from funding which has previously been set aside for a new residential dementia care facility, to pay for improvement work at Deanfield. 

The report’s author, chief financial officer David Robertson, writes: “This report proposes urgent investment, not currently included within the council’s capital programme, to upgrade and remodel Deanfield Care Home in Hawick. 

“The investment is required as a matter of urgency given significant shortcomings in the condition, internal fabric and configuration of the current facility which has been operated by SB Cares since 2015. 

“The investment proposed will not only to improve the quality of the home but will also facilitate a revised model of care, including the development of new respite care facilities in an underutilised wing of the current building. 

“The report proposes the re-allocation of £2.8m within the current capital plan 2019/20 – 2028/29. 

“It is proposed that this funding will come specifically from the budget presently allocated for the proposed development of a new residential dementia care facility within the Borders. 

“The new dementia facility is still in the planning phase and compensatory funding will need to be reinstated in the capital programme to deliver the dementia project as part of the budget process for 2020/21. 

“In the meantime, this budget provides an appropriate source of funding for the enhancement of services at Deanfield.”

Deanfield is a 35-bed traditional care home, first opened in 1987, which will now be remodelled into five domestic-style homes which will support a ‘care village’ approach. The report says that this model of care, which provides specialist dementia care in a homely setting, has been successfully pioneered in the Netherlands. 

Mr Robertson continues: “The care home presents an urgent need to improve due to its current condition. Fixture and fittings throughout are aged. Kitchens are in need of replacement. Individual bedrooms require a complete overhaul to meet modern care standards. 

“New furniture is required throughout as well upgrades to new wet room bathrooms. The investment proposed will include appropriate elements of the building plant, plumbing and wiring with significant improvements made to the energy efficiency of the home. 

“Cumulatively, the works proposed to the fabric of the home will extend the life of the Deanfield by up to an estimated 25 years.”

Common areas of the care home, such as the day centre area, will be redeveloped into community spaces that can be used for activities and group events, and an outdoor seating area will lead off from there.

The report states that some of the care home could be developed into small streetscapes, to remind people living with dementia how they lived and worked in their own homes.