More details have been revealed about a new kidney dialysis unit being built in Barnstaple. The purpose-built renal unit is set to open in Roundswell later this year and will replace the existing unit at South Molton Community Hospital. The number of dialysis stations will increase from nine to 20 and it will have a vital central water plant, something the unit at South Molton lacks. It will be equipped and managed by Fresenius Medical Care, which has recently been awarded a contracted to provide the service by the Royal Devon & Exeter NHS Foundation Trust. Renal clinical lead Dr Richard DSouza said: Our new unit in Barnstaple will be nearer to where the majority of our current patients live, more comfortable and we also hope to provide more holidaymakers with dialysis when they visit this part of the world. Were pleased that Fresenius emerged as the best partner for us; they are already successfully providing dialysis in dozens of other units across the country. The South Molton unit currently provides dialysis for about 50 kidney patients. The 16 members of staff there will continue to care for patients at the new unit in Barnstaple. Plans for the new unit were revealed by the Gazette in 2014 and have been developed in consultation with patients following a review of the service by NHS Englands Specialist Commissioning Group. The RD&E said facilities at South Molton will remain operational until the new unit at Barnstaple is open.