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Where are we:

Specialist Health and Social Care for adults with learning disabilities are provided by the Scottish Borders Learning Disability Service.

This is a joint Scottish Borders Council and NHS Borders service and provides a range of services for adults with a learning disability across the whole of the Scottish Borders.

About our service:

To be eligible for the service you need to be 18+

  1.  have a learning disability (as defined below)
  2. have difficulty accessing mainstream services, or require a more specialist intervention

 Learning disability is a significant, lifelong condition with three components:

  • A reduced ability to understand new or complex information or to learn new skills, in global rather than specific areas (impaired intelligence defined as an IQ below 70).
  • A reduced ability to cope independently (impaired social and adaptive functioning).
  • Onset before adulthood (before the age of 18) with a lasting effect on development.

All three criteria must be present for a person to be considered to have a learning disability. 


It is apparent from existing evidence, or evidence gathered during initial assessment by the Learning Disability Team that the person has had, or is likely to have, significant difficulties accessing mainstream or non-learning disability specialist services.

This definition of learning disability does not include people with specific learning difficulties such as:

  •  dyslexia or dsypraxia
  • autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) without additional presence of a learning disability
  • learning difficulties arising from sensory impairment
  • brain injury acquired after the age of 18. 

How do I get a service?

Anyone can make a referral to the Learning Disability Service.  Please contact us on 01896 824582.

The Learning Disability Governance Structure includes the following groups:

  • Scottish Borders Community Health and Care Partnership
  • Learning Disability Partnership Board
  • Learning Disability Management team
  • Providers Group – representatives from organisations in the independent and voluntary sector
  • 5 Locality Citizens panels – these panels are made up of people with learning disabilities and carers and help us improve communication and consultation on policy and other important matters that affect the lives of people with learning disabilities.

Staff List

The service is staffed by a group of professionals and includes:-

  • Social work
  • Learning Disability Nursing
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Physiotherapy
  • Dietetics
  • Speech & Language Therapy
  • Psychology
  • Psychiatry
  • Music Therapy

When are we open:

We are open in office hours Monday to Friday and are closed at weekends and public holidays. However we can provide a crisis response service at other times if assessed as required and planned in advance.

We provide:

  • assessment
  • care management
  • treatment
  • specialist advice and consultation
  • training and support

We are responsible for commissioning and monitoring support services for adults with learning disabilities from other organisations.

We also provide a Local Area Coordination Service.


All information is strictly confidential. With permission, we may share information with others who work with an adult with learning disabilities so we can best meet their needs.

If there is a concern of risk or harm to an adult with learning disabilities or others, we will have to contact other professionals. Under these circumstances confidentiality cannot be guaranteed.

Links to important sites:

‘The keys to life’ – a national strategy for people with learning disabilities in Scotland

Easy read version:

Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland:

Scottish Consortium for Learning Disabilities: