South Scotland

No 'hidden agenda' in NHS Borders health review

Hawick hospital Image copyright Walter Baxter
Image caption NHS Borders has approved an 18-month review of how it provides health services in the region

NHS Borders has said it has no plans to close hospitals and has no "hidden agenda" after it approved an 18-month review of its services.

It said communities would be "fully engaged" in the process.

Chairman John Raine said the debate had been "hijacked by controversy about hospital closures".

A petition against any move to shut four sites in Peebles, Duns, Hawick and Kelso has gathered more than 4,000 signatures of support.

"An extensive public engagement plan will be quickly developed," promised Mr Raine.

"We want to share information about our services with our communities and start a dialogue so that we hear what people want from their NHS.

"What the board has agreed to embark upon is a rational and sensible look at how services might be better organised within tightening budgets."

He said any changes to health services would take "full account" of what the public had to say and what was important to them.

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