Beds, Herts & Bucks

Bedford and Harlow to get new renal dialysis units

Dialysis patients in Bedfordshire and West Essex are to be able to get their treatment locally, thanks to two new NHS units.

East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust has been awarded the contracts to provide satellite dialysis units in Bedford and Harlow.

The new facilities will make the trust's renal dialysis service the biggest in the east of England.

The units should be available for use by patients from January 2013.

The trust, which provides renal services at the Lister Hospital in Stevenage, as well as in satellite units in Luton and St Albans, has been asked to create the new services following a formal tendering process by the East of England Specialised Commissioning Group.

The locations had already been decided by the group's board, following a public consultation held between November 2009 and January 2010.

'Enviable reputation'

The trust's bid was jointly put forward by its renal dialysis team and its specialist private sector partner Diaverum UK.

Chief executive, Nick Carver, said it was "really great news" for the team, patients and the trust as a whole.

"For some time the clinical quality of our renal dialysis service has enjoyed an enviable national and international reputation, which helps to explain why they were chosen to develop these two new units in Bedford and Harlow."

It is hoped that the units will have a big effect on patients who can spend many hours travelling on and waiting for hospital transport.

Fiona Loud from the Kidney Alliance said that patients in the Bedford and Essex areas would benefit enormously.

"It has been a topic of major concern for them and their families and they will be really pleased that their long journey to receive treatment three times a week can finally be reduced and they can be cared for locally," she said.

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