NATIONAL figures, released this week, show that Borders General Hospital is one the cleanest in the country.

Stringent checks by Government inspectors saw the Melrose wards pass over 96 per cent of its checks during a three-month period at the start of this year.

The figures compare favourably with other hospitals across the country.

The results have been welcomed by local MSP John Lamont. He told the Border Telegraph: "NHS Borders deserve to be congratulated on these results. Not only have they achieved NHS Scotland's top 'green' safety classification, but they have also beaten many other health boards across Scotland when it comes to keeping their facilities in a clean and fit state.

"It is especially pleasing that the Borders General Hospital has passed such a high percentage of checks. It is a vital health facility for the region that sees thousands of patients pass through its doors every year and it is imperative that it is kept to the highest standards.

"However, we cannot simply rest on our laurels after seeing these statistics. The last year has seen a small fall in the cleanliness at Borders General and to ensure this trend does not continue we must ensure that every precaution is taken to keep wards clean.

The figures were contained in NHS Scotland's National Cleaning and Compliance Report, and also stated that NHS Borders facilities were also performing well, passing 97% of tests.

Mr Lamont added: "Keeping our hospitals and health facilities clean is vital to the wellbeing of patients. The public need to be able to trust these facilities and to ensure this we must keep up the hard work that has seen us achieve these positive results."