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The waiting game

MI5 is rebuffed

From Dr Rebecca Smithson

Coldstream, Berwickshire

I am writing to inform you about the threat of closure to Coldstream Cottage Hospital. After 117 years serving the, mostly elderly community in the borders, NHS Borders has announced plans to close it, along with the cottage hospital at Jedburgh.

This is despite the Kerr report, given to the Scottish parliament in May, which emphasised the importance of local services rather than centralisation.

The already stretched Borders General Hospital already sends regular winter e-mails asking GPs not to admit patients, and we frequently admit patients to Coldstream Cottage Hospital just because social services lack the scope to keep these people at home.

We also object to the emphasis being placed on purely financial considerations. How can you cost the emotional benefit of being cared for by local nurses in a local facility?

For the elderly, the value of being able to pass peacefully away in our purpose-built palliative care suite with one's relatives nearby is boundless. We have even been able to let relatives stay overnight.

In this era of an ever-ageing population, where is the sense in closing the facilities designed to serve just that population?

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