Leicester

University of Leicester British Heart Foundation centre opens

Front of the new research centre building
Image caption The University of Leicester British Heart Foundation Cardiovascular Research Centre cost £12.6m

A multi-million pound heart research centre has opened close to a specialist children's heart ward facing closure.

The University of Leicester British Heart Foundation Cardiovascular Research Centre has been officially opened at Glenfield Hospital.

The £12.6m unit brings together researchers, doctors and patients to improve diagnosis and treatment.

It comes as news that a review of the hospital's closure-threatened heart unit will now conclude in September.

The review was due to conclude this month but has been delayed.

'Push the boundaries'

It began after NHS plans to reduce the number of hospitals where child heart surgery is performed were blocked.

It was originally due to conclude this month but has been delayed because the scope of the original inquiry was widened.

The new research centre was paid for in part by donations from benefactors including David Wilson, who founded David Wilson Homes, and The John and Lucille van Geest Foundation.

Professor Nilesh Samani, who is head of cardiovascular sciences at the university and the BHF's professor of cardiology, said it will benefit patients in Leicester and, ultimately, the rest of the world.

He said. "The new building is enabling us to bring together cardiovascular research teams to work collaboratively to push the boundaries of research and to attract new outstanding researchers to Leicester."

Work has already begun in the four-storey building.

Coronary heart disease is the UK's single biggest killer, according to the British Heart Foundation.

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