Page last updated at 13:27 GMT, Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Rural renal patients given boost

Welshpool's Victoria Memorial Hospital
One of the new units will be based at Welshpool hospital

Services for renal patients in Powys are being improved with the creation of two new dialysis units.

The units at Welshpool and Llandrindod Wells hospitals will help to reduce travel time for patients.

At the moment people with kidney problems in Powys receive medical treatment in Shrewsbury, Shropshire, and in Hereford.

Details of the new renal units were announced in a letter to AMs from Health Minister Edwina Hart.

In her letter to AMs, Ms Hart said: "I am writing to advise you that Welshpool hospital and Llandrindod Wells hospital have been chosen as the locations for two new dialysis units in Powys.

'Renal disease'

"These units will help to reduce the time kidney patients spend travelling to and from treatment.

"At the moment, patients in north Powys travel to Shrewsbury hospital and patients in south Powys travel to Hereford.

"The Welsh renal national service framework, which sets standards for the care of people with renal disease, requires that patients should be able to access dialysis within a 30-minute drive time from their home.

"To achieve this, the Welsh Assembly Government increased investment to expand dialysis capacity with an extra £2.5m in 2008-09, increasing to £6.8m for 2009-10 and £9.3m for 2010-11."

Brecon and Radnorshire AM and Welsh Liberal Democrat leader Kirsty Williams said it was a "real tribute to all the local campaigners who have worked so hard to get the new unit located in Llandrindod Wells".

"Access to renal dialysis for patients in Powys has been totally inadequate and these two units will make an enormous difference to the lives of our patients, so many of whom currently have to travel excessive distances for treatment," said Ms Williams.

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