A new purpose-built facility is coming to Royal Blackburn Hospital to provide improved treatment for people with kidney disease.

In East Lancashire, dialysis treatment is currently provided across three sites - Burnley, Accrington and Blackburn - but following the signing of a new seven-year contract, patients across the region are being promised huge improvements to the way the service is operated.

Under the contract, independent renal care services provider, Diaverum, will begin operating haemodialysis and outpatient services from a new purpose-built facility on the Royal Blackburn Hospital site, which will have a much bigger capacity than the current service.

And the services in Burnley and Accrington will now be moved to a new centre near Burnley serving patients closest to the new location with greater capacity and facilities.

Haemodialysis is a treatment to remove waste products and extra fluid from the blood, and is given to patients whose kidneys have stopped working properly.

Patients undergo dialysis several times a week in a local centre, or where possible in their own home.

Patients in North Lancashire and South Cumbria will also see improvements to the services.

Dr Mark Brady, Lancashire Teaching Hospitals clinical director for renal medicine, said: “Our vision is to provide high-quality services for our patients either at home or as close as possible to home.

“This contract means patients in East Lancashire, North Lancashire and South Cumbria will receive more accessible treatment in improved surroundings and, where appropriate, better access to the support they need to manage their own treatment at home.”

Dialysis services at sites in Preston and Chorley will remain unchanged with the service in Clifton also unaffected.

In South Cumbria, the dialysis unit at Westmorland General Hospital in Kendal will be refurbished and reconfigured with support offered to those wishing to have dialysis at home, and a new renal centre in Ulverston will be established.

Nora Kerigan, renal deputy divisional nursing director, said: “We believe that this will lead to significant improvements in quality of care for people needing renal treatment with fewer people needing to travel to Preston for their treatment.”