MINISTER for Social Care, Mental Wellbeing and Sports Maree Todd visited the Borders on Thursday where she met with staff from the Public Support and Protection Services team.

Since January 2020, Public Support and Protection has been provided by a partnership comprising of staff from Scottish Borders Council, NHS Borders, Police Scotland and Third Sector colleagues, reporting to the joint Public Protection Committee.

In 2022 the service received a positive report from the Care Inspectorate on how they work together to support and protect adults at risk of harm.

READ MORE: Police Scotland launch new 'Don't Feed Hate' campaign

Ms Todd had been keen to meet with staff providing support and protection for adults at risk of harm, and to hear more about the whole family approach utilised by the multi-agency team.

Ms Todd was welcomed to their co-located offices at Langlee in Galashiels by senior officers from across the partnership including David Robertson, SBC’s Chief Executive and Stuart Easingwood, Director of Social Work and Practice and Chief Social Work Officer. Representing NHS Borders were Sarah Horan, Director of Nursing, Midwifery and AHPs, Peter Lerpiniere, Associate Director of Nursing for Mental Health, Learning Disabilities and Older People and Rachel Pulman, Nurse Consultant Public Protection. Detective Chief Inspector, Bob Campbell was there on behalf of Police Scotland.

READ MORE: Traffic now flowing freely on A1 after lorry fire

Ms Todd took part in a service user discussion group, met with frontline staff from each of the partner agencies and learned more about the training, development and staff support provided to the team.

She said:“Everyone deserves to be safe from harm, and some people need support to do that.

“I was delighted to visit the Scottish Borders partnership recently, which had received a strong Adult Support and Protection report as part of the Multi-agency Inspection Programme.

READ MORE: Borders MP praises Brussel sprout producers R&K Drysdales

“The partnership is bringing together all the agencies involved in protecting adults which demonstrates good practice and positive experiences for supporting adults at risk of harm as part of a whole family approach.

“The Scottish Borders committee takes a public protection approach, and I was interested to hear how partners work together to support and protect some of the most vulnerable individuals in our communities.”

Councillor Tom Weatherston, SBC’s Executive Member for Social Work and Community Enhancement, added:“The establishment of our multi-agency public protection service, bringing together all the agencies involved in protecting children, young people and adults, is clear evidence of our commitment to ensuring everyone in the Borders can live free from abuse, harm or neglect.

READ MORE: Prestigious tourism award for Abbotsford House

“The positive report we received from the Care Inspectorate for our Adult Support and Protection services was further testament to the hard work and dedication of our staff, which with the whole family model adopted by the wider team, also includes colleagues working within Child Protection and Violence Against Women and Girls services.

“This is an extremely hard working and dedicated team, supporting some of the most vulnerable individuals in our communities, and I am pleased they were given the chance to share so many examples of their good practice with Ms Todd and her colleagues in the Scottish Government.”