TRIBUTE was paid to East Lancashire kidney treatment campaigner the late John Sagar as the new renal centre in Burnley named after him was officially opened.

It provides 24 stations for haemodialysis treatment and outpatient clinic facilities for patients from across the North-West region.

The John Sagar Renal Centre, at Briercliffe Shopping Centre, started treating people with kidney disease in November last year.

John’s wife Linda and son David were guests of honour at the event, and cut the ribbon to officially open the unit which replaces the existing 15-station unit at Burnley General Hospital and a satellite unit in Accrington.

A second new centre, also with 24 stations, at the Royal Blackburn Hospital will open later this summer.

Mr Sagar, from Wiswell, was the President of the Lancashire and South Cumbria Kidney Patients Association until his death in 2018.

Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust medical director Dr Gerry Skailes said: “John spent many selfless hours campaigning for the new centre in Burnley and other units, as well as championing the cause of organ donation.

“We all wanted to name this new centre here in Burnley in his honour because of his tireless passionate commitment in leading and shaping improvements to care for all people with kidney disease.

"John’s death in 2018 was sadly too soon for all those that knew him and for John to see his hopes become a reality.

“The John Sagar Renal Centre will hopefully be an enduring legacy offering improved patient-centred care and experiences that would have made him happy and proud.”

Linda said: “It’s just fantastic. It’s so emotional.

"He’d be thrilled but also humbled. He would be thinking they should have named it after someone else.

“John got well again after his transplant, but not everyone gets that opportunity. The centre is so open and comfortable for patients and there’s a lot of space for everyone.”

Improvements to kidney treatment in East Lancashire are being overseen by Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust which has awarded a seven-year contract to Diaverum Facilities Management to deliver the service.

The company's director Lisa Jordan said: “As well as honouring John Sagar’s memory, this centre is part of our wider plan improve the experience that we offer to patients and future proof renal care in East Lancashire for many years to come."