A FORMER charge nurse has raised a petition calling on the Scottish Government to throw out merger plans between Scottish Borders Council and NHS Borders.

The local authority agreed last week to submit proposals outlining the benefits of a single authority for the region to both Holyrood and the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities.

It follows an invitation for public bodies up and down the country to make submissions on future governance.

But the Scottish Borders Council proposals to absorb responsibility for health has been met with a backlash from the Borders public.

And this week Robbie Pennington, who was ward manager at a specialist dementia unit in Kelso, raised an online petition.

He states: "The culture and values of NHS Borders are very different from those of a local authority.

"It is those values that put patients first and that are vital to providing responsive, timely and appropriate care.

"These values would be destroyed by a merger with Scottish Borders Council.

"The proposed merger of SBC and NHS Borders could literally cost you your health."

Since launching the petition this week Mr Pennington's call for the Scottish Government to 'Preserve the independence of NHS Borders' is closing on the required 100 signatures.

The petition can be accessed at www.change.org/p/scottish-parliament-preserve-the-independence-of-nhs-borders