Councillor to fight Darataigh closure

A cross party pressure group of the Wigtown Area Committee held their first meeting of the new year to discuss retention of Darataigh Unit in Stranraer.

The respite care mental heath unit was threatened with closure by NHS Dumfries and Galloway and patients transferred to Dumfries.

Spokesperson for the group, Wigtown West Councillor Roberta Tuckfield said: “The group is determined to fight to retain this resource from the implicit threat of centralisation of services for dementia sufferers living in the West. We are aware of the enormous increase in the numbers of elderly people and therefore a corresponding increase of people suffering from dementia. The rurality of the west has not been taken into consideration by the Joint Board which means that many elderly people have to travel to Dumfries, a 150 mile round trip, to visit their loved ones. We appreciate that for the vast majority of people with dementia they will be cared for at home with support from family and carers but a significant number of elderly people with dementia who do not come into this category will become permantly isolated from their families either in Midpark Dumfries or at a care home some distance from their families and communities.’