Melrose hospital worker accused of stealing donation money

The Margaret Kerr Unit in the grounds of the Borders General Hospital.
The Margaret Kerr Unit in the grounds of the Borders General Hospital.

A 36-year-old male member of staff at the Borders General Hospital at Melrose has been accused of stealing donations to the palliative care unit there.

The arrest of the staff member at the Margaret Kerr Unit follows a near-18-month investigation into the whereabouts of missing donations and other cash yielded by fundraising.

The £4m unit, opened five years ago after a public fundraising drive to add to a legacy left by West Linton nurse Margaret Kerr, is the region’s only end-of-life care facility.

The police were called in early last year to probe reports of donated money, aimed at covering bills for improvements to the unit and transport costs, going missing.

A spokesman for NHS Borders said: “NHS Borders has been assisting Police Scotland with their inquiries since early 2017.

“The Margaret Kerr Unit is dear to people’s hearts and benefits from hundreds of generous donations every year.

“Our process around handling of cash donations has been strengthened in the light of this matter.

“If there has been a loss, it will be made good by the health board.”

A police spokesman said: “A 36-year-old man has been charged following the theft of money from a unit within the Borders General Hospital.

“A report has been sent to the procurator fiscal.”

It is expected that the accused will appear at Selkirk Sheriff Court later this month.

The unit was officially opened by the Duke of Gloucester in May 2013.