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New renal unit officially opened for North Devon patients

 

Patients in North Devon can now access a brand new renal facility in Barnstaple to undergo their life-saving kidney dialysis treatment.


The opening of the satellite renal unit was officially marked by staff and patients from the Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust (RD&E) and partner Fresenius Medical Care at an event to celebrate the project’s completion.  RD&E Chief Executive Suzanne Tracey and Fresenius Executive Vice President of Western Europe Frank Wagner were given the honour of revealing a special plaque to mark the occasion on 26th January.


The new unit replaces existing facilities in South Molton, which no longer meet the needs of the growing service. The RD&E awarded Fresenius Medical Care the contact to equip and manage the unit.


The purpose-built facility at Roundswell includes 20 state-of-the-art dialysis stations which can provide treatment for up to 60 patients a day. Dialysis treatment involves patients being at the unit up to three times a week, for up to four hours at a time, therefore the improved facilities will be of great benefit to them.


Patient Barrie Petts has had dialysis at the old South Molton unit for the past six years and also had to travel to the RD&E in Exeter for treatment in the past. He was one of the first patients to try out the new unit. He said: “I think it’s really nice here. It seems really modern and they’ve got newer machines than they had in South Molton which are better for my type of dialysis prescription. I have to come here three days a week and when I had to travel to Exeter it took a good couple of hours out of my day, so getting here is much quicker.”  


The new building is modern and spacious and meets all the latest healthcare building and regulatory (Care Quality Commission) regulations. Its central location in Barnstaple and ample parking also means that travel time has been reduced for many patients. Crucially the unit includes a central water plant, something the previous unit lacked, meaning that staff can offer a wider range of treatment options for local patients.


Suzanne Tracey, RD&E Chief Executive, said: “This new unit would not have been possible without the support of a range of people and organisations including our kidney patients, who were involved in the process throughout, the Kidney Patient Association, Northern Devon Healthcare Trust, Commissioners, NHS England, the South Molton League of Friends, local politicians and, of course, our commercial partners Fresenius Medical Care. This project was also made possible by our brilliant staff, who have shown remarkable patience and resilience throughout and have, ultimately, placed the needs of their patients first.”


Frank Wagner, Executive Vice President Western Europe, Fresenius Medical Care, said: “This new facility has been designed to meet the care and treatment needs of existing, and future, patients, carers, family and the visiting renal team. Fresenius look forward to the unit service developing further and matching the one that evolved out of South Molton. It is a place to grow and in every corner of the clinic and in any action, we should see and feel quality and care.”  


Jason Moore, Consultant Nephrologist, said: “This is truly a comfortable and state-of-the-art dialysis unit which will serve the patients of North Devon for many years to come.”

 



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