New Kidney Dialysis Unit Opened In Cardiff

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A new kidney dialysis unit, which will increase capacity and improve care for patients, will be officially opened by Health Minister Edwina Hart in Cardiff.

Previously, kidney dialysis patients had access to 16 dialysis stations at outdated facilities at the University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff.

Initially, the new unit opens with 18 dialysis machines, rising to 20 by December and will increase to 24 by March next year, with room to expand.

In April, the Minister opened the new unit at West Wales General Hospital, Carmarthen and next month new temporary facilities will open at Withybush Hospital, Haverfordwest.

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Coupled with investment in dialysis, the Welsh Assembly Government has part-funded the Kidney Wales Foundation-led Donate Wales: Tell a Loved One campaign, which aims to encourage people to become donors. Linked to that, a £4.2m Assembly Government-funded transplant unit at the University Hospital of Wales will open within the next 18 months.

Mrs Hart said: "This new dialysis unit in Cardiff will greatly improve the care on offer to dialysis patients. The draft budget set aside for renal dialysis expansion is £2.5m this year, increasing to £6.8m recurrently from 2009-10.

"However, for many patients dependent on dialysis a kidney transplant would be the best option. The Kidney Foundation Wales-led Donate Wales Tell a Loved One campaign raises awareness of the importance of signing up to the organ donation register. But the other message of the campaign is about the need for people to discuss their wishes with their family and friends.

"Along with this, I announced that the Assembly Government will fund the development of a purpose-built Renal Transplant Centre at the University Hospital of Wales to enable it to carry out more kidney transplants."

Roy J. Thomas, Chairman of the Kidney Wales Foundation and Donate Wales campaign, said: "We are fully committed along with the Welsh Assembly Government, to world class renal facilities such as the new dialysis unit in Cardiff across the whole of Wales. Transplant and dialysis treatments in Wales are improving under this government and we are working in partnership to ensure this continues and that more kidney patients and their families in Wales benefit."

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