CANCER sufferers in the Borders are a step closer to benefiting from a state-of-the-art care facility after a massive funding boost from a leading charity.
Macmillan Cancer Support announced last week that it is planning to invest £750,000 in a project to build a new specialist palliative care unit adjacent to the Borders General Hospital (BGH).
The facility, to be named the Margaret Kerr Unit in recognition of a Borders nurse who left a significant legacy intended for its creation, will be the first of its kind in the Borders, offering specialist care and emotional support to people with incurable cancer and other life-limiting conditions.
Dr Ross Cameron, medical director with NHS Borders, expressed his delight at the considerable backing. He said: “I am pleased we can now take forward plans for this facility which will enable our skilled, multi-disciplinary palliative care team to deliver more appropriate and high-quality care and support.
“The creation of the Margaret Kerr Unit will be made possible by securing charitable support to cover the capital costs. To date, considerably more than half of these costs have been secured in the form of firm pledges from key stakeholders and partners in the project and we are extremely grateful for their support.”
The £4.5 million purpose-built facility will be the result of a partnership between NHS Borders, Macmillan Cancer Support, the Margaret Kerr Charitable Trust and the Robertson Trust.
Macmillan’s area fundraising manager, Jan Forrest, said: “We are only able to do so much locally thanks to the amazing efforts of our supporters here.
“We are now appealing for people to continue to support us, perhaps by organising a fundraising event for the World’s Biggest Coffee Morning in September. Everyone who contributes helps to provide all these important services to make life better for people affected by cancer.”
The unit will be an extension to BGH, which is the site of the Macmillan Centre where chemotherapy, day and outpatient services are delivered. It will have its own entrance and car park, while at the same time retaining an essential link to the main body of the hospital.