Palliative care unit underway

work on the much-awaited palliative care facility got under way at Borders General Hospital (BGH) this week.

As NHS Borders chairman John Raine officially launched the start of the construction of the £4.1million Margaret Kerr Unit on Tuesday, he said: “It’s an exciting milestone.”

Builders expect to finish the unit, an extension of an existing ward, in February, with patients and their families expected to be using the en-suite rooms, clinical areas, day rooms and family accommodation by next spring.

Mr Raine added: “This is an important development in the provision of specialist in-patient palliative care in the Borders.”

More than £3.5million has been secured and an appeal, launched last September, has already raised more than £335,000 towards the £1million still required.

“There have been so many trusts and charities that have been generous to the Margaret Kerr Unit,” said Mr Raine, .

Leading nurse specialist for palliative care, Dot Partington said: “It’s a fantastic opportunity, because the current facilities are not up to scratch. The new unit will have single rooms with space for relatives to stay over.

“The unit will make the family and patients’ experience much better, and from the nurses’ point of view they will be able to give more individual nursing care.”