Our elderly deserve better than this


MAY I, through the courtesy of your columns, express my anger, disgust and disbelief that the Integrated Joint Board is being asked to consider that there is no need for a 26-bed care home in Langholm.

There are 28 elderly Langholmites currently dispersed around Dumfries and Galloway and Cumbria, residing in care homes as far afield as Annan, Lockerbie, Longtown and Carlisle.

The fact that this news came on the same day as it was revealed that Dumfries is to have a £20m, 180-bed dementia village built and more millions are to be spent on the white elephant DG1 swimming pool makes this a particularly bitter pill to swallow.

We are constantly told that the Thomas Hope Hospital is not fit for purpose which would suggest that its shelf life is nearing its limit. We have a generous charitable trust which is willing to cover the cost of building the care home?

The building of a care home in Langholm would not only allow our elderly to remain in their home town but also bring some much-needed jobs to the town.

I think I am correct in saying that each resident needs 75 per cent of the workforce which means that a 24-bed care home would create 16 jobs, a 32-bed home 24 jobs etc.

We are currently in the worst state I have ever known in all my years living in the town. Nearly all the industry has up and left, there are no jobs and we are constantly left out of tourist literature and pamphlets as tourists are directed west into Dumfries and Galloway rather than towards Langholm.

They do not even mention the Common Riding, although it appears there is never a shortage of official guests cramming their way onto the stage on the last Friday in July.

There are, within the town, trains of thought that suggest we should be a retirement village. This is not something I agree with but it may well be forced upon us as our young folk, on leaving school, find that the only work they can get is away from the town.

If we become a retirement village and there is no care for the elderly, the town will, through the loss of young and elderly alike, simply cease to be.

I make no pretence or claim to know what the costs of running a care home are but, currently, these 28 Langholmites, who are being cared for outwith their beloved home town, are incurring the same bills as they would incur were the care home here. So what is the difference?

The fact the care home is to be built at no cost to the IJB should, you would think, be a bonus.

Our elderly deserve better than this; they deserve to see out their days in the town they know and love rather than being shipped out to Annan, Lockerbie, Dumfries or Longtown where their relatives or visitors have to use the inadequate public transport just to visit. This is just wrong.

I use Langholm as the example in this case but that’s because it is where I live but this care home, were it to be built, would also cover Canonbie, Ewes, Westerkirk and, quite probably Newcastleton and the surrounding area.

I am saddened that our councillors was available to comment on this turn of events and perhaps we are all missing something so I would invite any of them to address this issue publicly. You are our elected representatives; our eyes, ears and voice. We put our faith in you to fight our corner.

David McVittie

David Street


Wednesday, August 30, 2017 at 12:01PM
Comment on this article

Generate a new code
Comments not OK? Click here to let us know