The Duke of Edinburgh has opened a new £5.5 million Cardiac Centre at Luton and Dunstable University Hospital.
He took a guided tour of the building, where specialised staff will treat heart patients with a range of conditions.
Dr Christopher Travill, Consultant Cardiologist at Luton and Dunstable Hospital said:
“The opening of the Cardiac Centre is the realisation of a dream. The Cardiology team has a long held desire to provide a specialist Cardiac Centre onsite which will benefit patients with quicker diagnosis and treatment.
“Around one third of all preventable deaths in Luton and the surrounding area are due to cardiac problems and until now, people had to travel to other specialist centres for investigations which can be very stressful for patients and their families. Now such investigations and treatment will be delivered locally.”
The hospital says that the new centre will treat up to 700 patients each year. Local people have donated more than £41,000 in recent months to pay for additional medical equipment there.
Prince Philip is the third member of the Royal family to visit the hospital, which was opened by Queen Mary in 1939. More recently The Princess Royal opened the St Mary’s Wing for Therapies and Elderly Medicine in 2002.