A new renal unit has officially opened its doors at the Friarage Hospital in Northallerton.
The unit, funded by the Friends of the Friarage, has space to dialyse up to 10 patients, reducing the need for them to travel to Middlesbrough or Darlington for dialysis.
Dr David Reaich, clinical director for nephrology, said: “It is fantastic to now have a dialysis centre at the Friarage. We are very excited to be able to provide this service to our patients from Northallerton, Thirsk and the surrounding areas who currently have to travel quite a long way for their dialysis, three times a week. It is a huge step forward for those patients and will really help to improve their quality of life.”
The unit was officially opened with a ribbon-cutting ceremony by Ian Macdonald who has been a renal patient with South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust for nearly 50 years.
The 67-year-old from Great Ayton, who has had four kidney transplants, said it was a privilege to be one of the first patients to see the new unit.
“I’ve been connected to the renal unit for 49-years all together. I started dialysis at North Ormesby Hospital in 1972, I was one of the first patients to go for dialysis at what was then known as South Cleveland Hospital, I dialysed at home for 10 years and I am now one of the first to see the unit at the Friarage.
“The renal team are tremendous; the nurses are fantastic and they’re always really supportive. This small unit is ideal for patients like me.”
In total the Friends of the Friarage donated £300,000 for the unit’s development work and purchase of equipment.
Liaison trustee for the Friends of the Friarage Donna Jermyn said: “The dialysis unit is a terrific development for the Friarage and the local population. The Friends have been delighted to support this and I’m sure we’ll continue to take an active interest.”
During the opening Cheryl Burton, service manager for renal, thanked the Friends for supporting the unit.
“On behalf of the trust, our renal team and our patients I would like to say a huge thank you to the Friends of the Friarage and to all of their supporters. You have raised an amazing amount of money for us without which we couldn’t have opened this unit. This will make a huge difference to our patients.”