A new kidney dialysis unit being built in Barnstaple will open in November this year, Royal Devon & Exeter NHS Foundation Trust has confirmed.The trust said the long-promised facility at Roundswell had met with regrettable delays but an exact opening date would be announced soon. The purpose-built satellite renal unit will replace the existing outdated unit at South Molton Community Hospital. In January, the Gazette reported that the new unit will be quipped and managed by Fresenius Medical Care, which has been awarded the contract to provide the service. A trust spokesperson said: We are pleased to confirm that after further positive and productive discussions with our specialist building partner Fresenius Medical Care, the new dialysis unit at Roundswell will open in November and we hope to confirm the exact date soon. As with all new build projects, particularly those centred around the delivery of highly specialist patient care such as dialysis, we set a range of precise specifications for the construction and fit-out of the facility so that it is both safe and of the highest quality. Dialysis involves patients being at the unit frequently and for long periods of time, and so the conditions inside are crucial the way the air conditioning and insulation function, for example, is an important consideration. We know that these things were an issue for some patients at the South Molton unit so we really want to get these and other details right in Roundswell. That is why we have taken more time to work closely with our partner on these details and ensure the best possible value for money. We accept that this has led to some regrettable delays, and we appreciate the frustration some people will have felt. However, as a Trust we feel it is critical that we work as hard as possible with the teams in charge of the construction to get the details of this new facility right so that our renal patients receive the maximum benefit for many years to come. The number of dialysis stations will increase from nine to 20, with a capacity of up to 60 patients a day. The 16 members of staff at South Molton will continue to care for patients at the new unit in Barnstaple. The spokesperson added: There will be more physical space for patients and improved storage for use by staff. We are now firmly looking forward to the opening in November and confident that it will deliver a much improved service for local renal patients. We will keep patients, staff and other appropriate bodies informed in the coming weeks and months. For more North Devon stories visit our news feed here.