Scottish Borders Council to consider merger with NHS Borders

Scottish Borders Council is to explore the potential of merging with NHS Borders to create a single public authority for the region.

The proposals would see the combined council and health board take charge of 9,000 staff and more than £400m in public funding.

A proposed submission to a local government review, which will be discussed by councillors next week, suggests a single public authority could serve the best interests of local residents across the area in future years.

The report argues that a single authority would be a logical next step following a series of Scottish Government actions in recent years which have aimed to eliminate boundaries and obstacles between public sector organisations to deliver improved outcomes for residents.

The proposal suggests a single organisation would provide a number of benefits such as providing a common approach to service delivery for the public, instilling focus and reducing competition between agencies and financial and service efficiencies.

If approved, the submission will be made to the Scottish Government and COSLA as part of the joint Local Governance Review which aims to consider how powers, responsibilities and resources are shared across national and local government and with communities.

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