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Paralympian David Weir opens Borough Kidney Treatment Centre

Paralympic gold medallist David Weir has officially opened the Borough Kidney Treatment Centre at Empire Square in Long Lane.

David Weir and Susan Avery
David Weir with haemodialysis patient Susan Avery and his four London 2012 medals

The centre, which is part of by Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust, provides a relaxing, pleasant environment for patients with kidney disease to dialyse.

The first patients used the new facilities at Empire Square last October and on Wednesday morning Paralympic wheelchair athlete David Weir – who won four gold medals during London 2012 – unveiled a plaque to mark the centre's official opening.

"I am delighted to officially open the Borough Kidney Treatment Centre which provides life-saving dialysis," said David Weir.

"It feels less like a clinic and more like a home-from-home for kidney patients who need dialysis three times a week.

"The effort that Guy's and St Thomas' is making to empower patients who want to manage their own condition and tailor their treatment to their own convenience is amazing."

After the formal opening ceremony, David Weir spent time chatting with patients and posing for photographs.

Charge nurse Erwin Desendario said: "We've made a big effort to fit the service around our patients' needs so they can request an appointment that suits them.

"We are open from 7am to 11pm Monday to Saturday so people can fit dialysis around their work and personal commitments, rather than the other way round.

"Our chairs are big and comfy and chosen by the patients, there's local artwork and TVs, which all helps people relax during the 3-4 hours it takes for their dialysis session."

The new centre is all on a single level, unlike the previous facilities on the Guy's Hospital site.

Kidney patients were involved in the planning and design of the centre which has a self-care area for people who want to do some, or all, of their own care. Staff also offer training and support to patients who wish to learn how to do dialysis at home.

Up to 300 patients a week receive life-saving kidney dialysis treatment, support and advice at the centre, one of seven satellite dialysis units run by Guy's and St Thomas'.

The centre cares for patients who need regular dialysis treatment, usually three times a week for up to four hours, or who dialyse at home but have regular check-ups.

Patients who are seriously ill and with complex kidney problems are treated in the dialysis unit at Guy's Hospital.

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