MUMS-TO-BE all around the world are being offered tours of the region's biggest hospital to encourage them to have their baby in the Borders.

NHS Borders this week confirmed there were 1,155 births at Borders General Hospital in the past year - including many from outside the region.

Since 2008, the maternity unit in Melrose has delivered an average of 169 births per year of babies from outwith the local health board area.

NHS Borders is this week celebrating the achievements of its nursing and midwifery staff as part of Nurses Week, which runs from May 6 to 12.

Prospective mums and dads can now take a tour of the BGH Maternity Unit and meet the midwifery team at the click of a button following the launch of the unit's interactive website.

It aims to raise awareness of the services provided and improve accessibility for expectant parents.

The unit has undergone a number of changes in recent years including implementing improved out of hours cover for specialist staff and making appointments at times to suit patients.

The local health board has also signed up to the global UNICEF programme Baby Friendly Initiative, to raise standards of maternity care and encourage breastfeeding.

Sheena Wright, Director of Nursing and Midwifery for NHS Borders, said: "Nursing is a profession that embraces dedicated people with varied interests, strengths and passions. The profession offers many opportunities in a variety of settings."

And she added: "I would like to take the opportunity to thank staff for their hard work, their continual efforts to improve services, and their enthusiasm for taking forward new and innovative ways of working."