A FINAL million needs to be raised for the palliative care specialist inpatient unit at Borders General Hospital and last week NHS Borders set off with a pair of 2.7 metre long bright orange and white running shoes, heading for the finishing line of £4.5 million for the new unit.
A significant stimulus for the project came from the legacy left by Margaret Kerr which is now held in the Margaret Kerr Charitable Trust to be used for the creation of the new unit, which the NHS Borders board has agreed to name ‘the Margaret Kerr Unit’.
In addition, substantial sums have already been secured from a number of partners, charitable trusts and individuals, including the Robertson Trust, Macmillan Cancer Support, the WRVS, the Friends of the Borders General Hospital, Callum’s Trust and The Lavender Touch.
The remaining sum to be raised is the focus of this local fundraising appeal.
All charitable income to the appeal will be channelled through NHS Borders Endowment Funds which already has an established fundraising infrastructure and brand image – “the difference” (Scottish Charity No. SC008225).
James Marjoribanks, chair of The Difference fundraising appeal, said: “We are launching the public fundraising appeal to raise the ‘final million’ to build the Margaret Kerr Unit for the Borders.
“We are calling on the people of the Borders to support us in achieving our goal and making this much-needed and important facility a reality.”
A business case for the development of the unit, which incorporates the refurbishment of the hospital’s stroke unit, was approved in principal by NHS Borders in June.
It was recognised that the existing model of inpatient specialist palliative care in the Borders created significant challenges in respect of patient-mix, continuity of care, clinical risk and the ability to deliver patient-centred care to the level the board want and patients and their families need.
The new facility will address these challenges and allow NHS Borders’ skilled multi-disciplinary palliative care team to deliver more appropriate and high quality care and support to patients and their families.
The new unit will be created by remodelling and extending one end of an existing ward building at the BGH.
It will have its own entrance with adjacent landscaping and car parking, while at the same time retaining an essential link into the main body of the hospital.
There will be en-suite patient rooms, as well as clinical areas, day rooms and accommodation for relatives.
The aim is to create a comfortable, welcoming and peaceful building for everyone.
John Raine, NHS Borders chair, said: “NHS Borders aims to deliver high quality health care at the right time and in the most appropriate way and this new Palliative Care Specialist Inpatient Unit will enable us to do this.
“It is an important step forward in providing local and quality health care that meets the needs of the people of the Borders and will make a huge difference in the lives of patients, and also their families, who will receive care and support from this unit.”
Work is scheduled to begin on the new unit in spring 2012, with the opening of the Specialist Palliative Care Unit conditionally scheduled for the first half of 2013.