The £4.1 million Margaret Kerr Unit at Borders General Hospital was officially opened by HRH The Duke of Gloucester last week.
The purpose built specialist palliative care unit provides a comfortable, welcoming and peaceful building for patients with life limiting conditions.
Margaret Kerr, a local nurse, died in March 2009, and left £720,000 which was used as the catalyst for the project. The full £4.1 million was raised from charitable trusts, local and national charities and institutions and local businesses, plus £1,143,000 raised through a public fundraising appeal and local fundraising initiatives in the Borders. Donations are still being received.
The unit has been open to palliative care patients and their families since January this year and a member of one family who have used it since it opened said: “For families in our position, The Margaret Kerr Unit is a haven for those whose lives are drawing to a close, and we are fortunate to have such a caring unit in the Borders”.
John Raine, NHS Borders chair, said of the new unit: “It is a testimony to what can be achieved through generosity and giving on the part of benefactors, charities and the Borders community. The Margaret Kerr Unit is helping our palliative care team to deliver the very best care to patients along with support to their families.”
During the opening HRH The Duke of Gloucester and guests were given the opportunity to make a commemorative tile that will contribute to the ‘Lasting Impressions’ mosaic wall, allowing them to leave a lasting symbol on the wall of the new unit in remembrance of a loved one.