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Liverpool's St Paul's Eye Unit given freedom of city

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image copyrightSt Paul's Eye Unit
image captionSt Paul's Eye Unit, based at the Royal Liverpool University Hospital, opened in 1871
An eye hospital in Liverpool has been given the freedom of the city.
Representatives of St Paul's Eye Unit, based at the Royal Liverpool University Hospital, were presented with the award at Liverpool Town Hall.
Lord Mayor of Liverpool Erica Kemp said the unit's "reputation for world class excellence" deserved to be recognised.
Prof Simon Harding, from the centre, said the award was "testament to the dedication and talent of our staff".
The chair professor of clinical ophthalmology at St Paul's Eye Unit said: "It is a highly prestigious accolade and one we are extremely proud to receive."
Ms Kemp said the eye centre formed an "important part of the fabric of our city's health heritage".
The unit was nominated for the honour by former Lord Mayor of Liverpool Roger Johnston.
Mr Johnston, who has type 2 diabetes, credits the eye clinic with saving his eyesight after it diagnosed diabetic retinopathy.
image copyrightSt Paul's Eye Unit
image captionProf Simon Harding from the centre said the award was "testament to the dedication and talent of our staff"
He said: "If I hadn't attended the screening appointment and benefited from the clinical trial I would now be blind and not a day goes by when I don't appreciate the quality of care and treatment I was given.
"The staff at St Paul's were incredible and I really felt that I received five star treatment from world class professionals."
The unit's origins date back to 1871 and it treats 100,000 patients each year.
The unit, which has been marking the award with a week of events including an Eyes Revealed exhibition featuring interactive demonstrations designed to showcase the workings of the eye and new treatments, will receive the freedom scroll in a ceremony at 16:30 GMT.

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