South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth has welcomed the announcement from Dumfries and Galloway Health and Social Care Partnership that Acorn House in Dumfries is set to resume a restricted service from 24 August.

However, the local MSP has said the long-term future of short break services in the region must be guaranteed.

Colin Smyth said: “Along with parents, I’ve been fighting for a return date to be set, so I welcome this decision.

“We have moved from the health and social care partnership talking about the potential re-opening of Acorn House to setting a date for restricted service from 24 August and that is real progress.

“However, it shouldn’t take pressure from parents, some of whom are at breaking point, before their children get the care they need. Respite care isn’t a luxury. It’s an integral part of the health and well-being of the children and families who receive it.

“It’s also now important that the partnership get on with the consultation on the long-term shape of the respite service with a view to improving provision.

“We need an end once and for all to any uncertainty over the long-term future of a service that the past few months has shown many families so desperately need more than ever. Any changes to the service must be shaped and agreed by the parents and their children.”

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