TWO new kidney dialysis centres providing are set to open in East Lancashire in the next 12 months.

The long-awaited purpose-built ward at the Royal Blackburn Hospital, first promised for 2013, will now replace a portacabin from February next year.

Another specialist new renal unit will open at Briercliffe Shopping Centre in Burnley in September 2021.

The news of firm opening dates has been welcomed by Kevin McGee, chief executive of the East Lancashire NHS Hospitals Trust, and the leaders of Blackburn with Darwen and Burnley Council's Cllr Mohammed Khan and Cllr Mark Townsend.

Dialysis treatment removes 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.

It is currently provided across three sites in Burnley, Accrington and Blackburn.

The new centres are being overseen by Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust which awarded a contract to Diaverum Facilities Management to deliver the service.

Currently two temporary units in the grounds of the Royal Blackburn Hospital in Haslingden Road hospital grounds accommodate six dialysis stations.

The new building, last scheduled to open in 2017, will quadruple treatment capacity by offering 24 dialysis stations.

The purpose-built larger centre in Briercliffe, also with 24 stations, will replace the existing 15-station unit at Burnley General Hospital and the satellite unit in Accrington.

Both centres will be designed to enable maximum accessibility, bringing treatment closer to home for patients with mobility or infection control needs.

There will be enough space to allow dialysis and outpatient appointments to take place in the same building, as well as video consultation facilities.

Dr Mark Brady, Lancashire Teaching Hospitals clinical director for renal medicine, said: “People with kidney disease in East Lancashire will soon receive their care in much more comfortable and welcoming surroundings.

“All patients who attend our renal centres will see improvements but the benefits will be particularly noticeable for those who attend several times a week for dialysis treatment.”

Cllr Khan said: “This is very good news for the borough and an improvement of services for our residents who sadly are affected by kidney disease.”

Cllr Townsend said: "This is good news. This new centre will provide life-saving treatment for local people on their doorstep and will be especially welcomed by patients who have to have this treatment several times a week."

Mr McGee said: "This is good news for our patients and residents across East Lancashire."