Kidney dialysis upgrade for Ysbyty Gwynedd and Alltwen

A nurse checks the pulse of a patient The £1.8m will upgrade the main dialysis unit at Bangor as well as Porthmadog

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Two kidney dialysis units in Gwynedd are to be upgraded over the next two years at a cost of £1.8m, Health Minister Mark Drakeford has announced.

The main dialysis services for north west Wales are provided at the Elidir Unit at Ysbyty Gwynedd in Bangor.

The plans include a larger area for 15 dialysis machines as well as an isolation area and staff facilities.

A temporary unit at Ysbyty Alltwen hospital in Tremadog will become permanent with nine dialysis stations.

Dialysis is the mechanical cleaning of the blood.

The refurbished renal dialysis unit at Ysbyty Gwynedd aims to provide an improved clinical, patient and staff environment, including a treatment room and dedicated staff facilities.

At the satellite service at Ysbyty Alltwen, six of the dialysis stations will be in an open plan area with three further stations in a separate area.

A separate entrance and drop off area will also be created.

'Relieve pressure'

The unit was set up at the hospital near Porthmadog in January 2010 to reduce the distances patients have to travel.

Previously some residents of south Gwynedd had journeys of two hours each way for treatment.

Mr Drakeford said: "The permanent unit at Alltwen and the refurbished and extended service at Ysbyty Gwynedd will improve renal dialysis in the north west Wales area.

"It will benefit both patients and staff and also help to reduce travel times for those renal patients from Meirionnydd and Dwyfor who are suitable candidates for the unit in Alltwen.

"It will also help to relieve pressure on the main dialysis unit at Ysbyty Gwynedd."

Work on the Ysbyty Alltwen unit is expected to be completed by February 2015.

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