South Scotland

Hundreds sign Borders hospitals closure petition

Hawick hospital Image copyright Walter Baxter
Image caption NHS Borders is currently reviewing the future of four hospitals in Hawick, Peebles, Duns and Kelso

An online petition against a threat to the four community hospitals in the Scottish Borders has attracted mass support.

Within 36 hours of going live on Saturday evening, it had more than 1,200 signatures.

The petition was started by Michael Grieve from Hawick.

NHS Borders is currently reviewing the future of four hospitals in Peebles, Duns, Hawick and Kelso as part of cost-cutting measures.

The petition states that: "The community hospitals in the Borders are the heart of our community health.

"They are not just buildings, they are living breathing entities. They breathe life back into our communities."

Medical director at NHS Borders, Dr Sheena MacDonald, has said that any changes should ensure a service which was "at the very least" as good as at present.

She said the saving money on buildings could allow the health board to invest in areas such as staffing.

Mr Grieve plans to hand over his petition at Christmas.

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