Dialysis unit opens its doors

The new renal dialysis unit at Stonehaven
The new renal dialysis unit at Stonehaven

A new renal dialysis unit based in Stonehaven, which has been largely funded by the community, is set to open its doors to the public today (Thursday).

The open event from 1-6pm at Kincardine Community Hospital will let people see the unit before it begins fully functioning as a clinical facility .

A huge fundraising effort by the people and businesses in and around Stonehaven raised £1million in five years to get the project underway.

Dr Ann Humphrey, associate specialist in Aberdeen Royal Infirmary’s dialysis unit and lead fundraiser for the campaign, said it was thrilling to now see construction complete.

She added: “We are absolutely delighted to be welcoming people in to see the new unit.

“The outstanding fundraising campaign, which has seen a groundswell of goodwill from our local community, and indeed all over the Grampian region, has made this happen.

“I do not think there is a group in the local area which has not been involved in contributing to this campaign.

“The Rotary’s huge impact and continued support with their donation, to our local businesses, families and individual donations which have all gone towards building this wonderful facility for the people of Kincardine.”

The new unit will have the capability of treating 24 patients a week if working on a full-time basis.

Initially, the unit would operate on a three-day week pattern.

Past president of Rotary Club of Stonehaven, Billy Hunter, said the club had been proud to play a leading role in the fund-raising process, but there had also been outstanding support from the wider community and other groups.

He added: “This has been a major fundraising project in recent years and our members are proud to have helped deliver a local medical facility which will be of immense benefit to the people of Stonehaven and the surrounding community.”

Dame Anne Begg, non executive director and chair of the NHS Grampian Endowments Committee, said: “For the people who require renal dialysis and live across a wide geographic area south of Aberdeen, this facility in Stonehaven can’t come soon enough.

“At present they have a long commute into Aberdeen, often several times and week, adding time and stress to their lives which are already difficult.

“I am delighted that NHS Grampian’s Endowment Fund has been able to contribute in order to get this project off the ground.”

In 2010, the NHS Grampian Renal Unit was left a legacy of £250,000 for dialysis machines.