More Fylde kidney patients will be treated closer to home after the opening of a new renal unit at the Clifton Hospital.

The Lytham hospital officially became the new home of renal services on the Fylde when Roy Male, chief executive of Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre Hospitals Trust, Roy Male joined local dignitaries for the official opening last Friday.

The new unit has 12 dialysis machines installed, compared to just six at the old Devonshire Road site in Blackpool, meaning as many as 48 patients a week can be treated locally.

And the new unit has been given the seal of approval from renal patient, Ron Evans, who receives dialysis treatment at the hospital three times a week.

"The new unit is five star," said Mr Evans: "We could not have asked for anything better. The staff are wonderful and the facilities are fantastic.

"I could not fault the care at Devonshire Road Hospital but the building was starting to get dilapidated. The new unit is more spacious and has 12 dialysis stations compared to six, which means more people can be treated locally."

The unit it being run in partnership with Fresenius Medical Care Renal Services, a global leader in the provision of dialysis services which works with the NHS to manage 33 dialysis centres across the UK.

Dialysis is one of a number of services which have been moved away from the ageing Devonshire Road site which is set to be sold off or redeveloped as part of a health service modernisation programme.