Local group makes all The Difference

BORDERS General Hospital’s kidney dialysis unit is now twice the size it once was thanks to ‘The Difference’ local fund raising appeal which has raised over £250,000 since 2009.

The newly expanded kidney unit opened its doors to patients in June this year and earlier this week saw the official opening of the unit and the handing over of a cheque for £250,600, twice their original target, by the fund raising group, led by former renal dialysis patient James Marjoribanks.

The unit has doubled in size, from six to 12 dialysis machines, increasing local dialysis capacity from 36 patients to 54 patients. As part of a repatriation programme, 18 Borders patients who previously had received their treatment in hospitals across NHS Lothian are now dialysing within BGH.

‘The Difference’ money has also helped improve conditions within the unit, including televisions, additional equipment and allowing for a much higher building specification, including a raised ceiling for increased natural light – all to make the lengthy time that patients spend in the unit more comfortable.

The appeal target, to raise funds to make life a little more comfortable for patients who had to spend time in the dialysis unit, was increased in December 2009 to £200,000 owing to the overwhelming response from fundraisers across the Borders. Groups like the Rotary Clubs of the Borders and Borders College came on board raising £55,000 between them, and Borders Kidney Patient Trust (now disbanded) also contributed £9,000 to the fund.

The appeal team would like to thank the patients who receive treatment in the dialysis unit, and their families who have raised huge sums for the appeal, and have also been helpful in engaging with the appeal manager, Clare Oliver, to decide how they would like the appeal funds spent.

Dr Wendy Metcalfe, consultant nephrologist at BGH, said the expanded unit offered state-of-the-art facilities giving patients greater comfort and privacy.