A NEW renal centre in Ulverston has been welcomed by a campaigner.

Anne Aspinall, from Barrow, has called for a facility in the area since July 2019 after her husband Jack began 80-mile round trips to Kendal for his dialysis treatment.

Jack, who sadly passed away at the age of 81 in January 2020, would have to leave for Westmorland General Hospital at 11.00am and return home to Barrow at 7.00pm, three times a week.

But with the opening of Furness Renal Centre on Monday, Anne, 79, believes it will provide a huge help for patients who were in the same situation as Jack.

Anne said: "I am absolutely delighted that it is opening up - it will benefit a lot of people with dialysis treatment in our area.

"I feel proud, I obviously want to go and have a look at it, but I will wait until I can.

"I would like to thank Rebecca Knagg, John Woodcock, Simon Fell and Natalie Ardron."

Anne met with health officials, the previous and current Barrow MP, as she set out to improve the lives of Furness patients.

And now, with the new centre on the former site of Sandside Lodge School, haemodialysis treatment and outpatient clinic facilities will be closer to their homes.

Barrow MP Simon Fell has shared Anne’s joy and said kidney treatment has been a key issue since he was elected in 2019.

He said: "I am delighted to see the new Dialysis centre being opened in Ulverston to serve the residents of Barrow and Furness. Many constituents have been in touch on this issue, and most of them came to speak to me about it as soon as I was elected which told me how important this issue was to the people I serve.

"The fact that constituents in local area are now saved from a long and arduous trip to and from Kendal when they are already unwell is such a great thing, and I hope to be able to visit the new centre in the near future."

Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, responsible for renal services in Lancashire and South Cumbria, oversaw the improvements.

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."

After opening the new Furness centre, the existing renal unit at Westmorland General Hospital will be refurbished and reopen in December.