He unveiled a plaque in the £4.1million specialist wing and met patients privately yesterday afternoon.
And in the unit’s reception, he spoke to many of those involved in raising the money which added to nurse Margaret Kerr’s legacy of £720,000, those working there, people who knew and had worked with the nurse after whom the unit is named and others.
At the unveiling, he said: “Margaret Kerr knew what was needed and why and I hope the people who live in the Borders will feel reassured this exists. I wish the very best of luck to the people coming here, whether to work or as a patient, and hope they will feel this is exactly what they need.”
NHS Borders chairman John Raine said: “Today is significant not just for patients and their families and for the staff but also as a recognition for all the Borders people have done to raise such a tremendous amount of money. The Margaret Kerr Unit is a wonderful facility.”
James Marjoribanks, chairman of the Margaret Kerr Appeal told TheSouthern: “It’s the culmination of a lot of hard work by many people when the generosity of the Borders came to the fore.
“We are very fortunate and the Borders can be very proud of this magnificent unit. Margaret Kerr would be very proud and all credit to her.”
Also at the unveiling, Dr Jim Gray worked with Margaret Kerr when she was a ward sister at the City Hospital in Edinburgh.
He said: “I cannot speak highly enough of her. She was a strict disciplinarian, she had a huge sense of humour and she was so kind to the patients. She was just great.”
The unit was opened to patients in January.