A new centre for people being treated for kidney disease has opened in Ulverston this week.
Furness Renal Centre, on the former site of Sandside Lodge School in Sandside Road, brings haemodialysis treatment and outpatient clinic facilities closer to home for patients.
Haemodialysis is a treatment to remove waste products and extra fluid from the blood, and is given to patients whose kidneys have stopped working properly.
Patients from the Furness region previously had to travel to Kendal several times a week for treatment unless it was possible for them to dialyse at home.
Improvements have been overseen by Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which is responsible for renal services across Lancashire and South Cumbria. Last October they awarded a seven-year contract to Diaverum Facilities Management to help deliver the improved service.
Dr Mark Brady, Lancashire Teaching Hospitals Clinical Director for Renal Medicine, said: “Opening this new centre in Ulverston is the first stage of an exciting series of developments in the service provided to our dialysis patients across the region.
“We have worked closely with patients throughout the project to ensure our facilities meet their needs, and are delighted to be able to welcome them to this new unit that they have been instrumental in designing.
“As well as offering treatment in welcoming new modern surroundings, the unit reduces travel time for a significant number of our patients.”
Following the opening of the new Furness centre, the existing renal unit at Westmorland General Hospital in Kendal will be refurbished.
When it reopens in December it will continue to offer haemodialysis treatment and outpatient clinics, as well as provide new training facilities for those who wish to manage their own treatment at home.
Currently, people from South Cumbria need to travel to Chorley for home dialysis training.
As part of the improved service across the region new renal centres are scheduled to open in Burnley this October and next May in Blackburn in partnership with Diaverum.