Coronation Street actor Antony Cotton proved a big hit when he attended the official opening of the Leeds Adult Haemophilia Unit, at St James’s University Hospital.
Antony, who plays Sean Tully in the ITV soap, joined patients, families and staff for a celebration event in the atrium of the Bexley Wing which also marked World Haemophilia Day. It featured live music, games and quizzes and health checks. The Leeds Teaching Hospitals Charitable Foundation funded the unit for 700 patients from across the region.
Guests were given a tour of the unit, which is located on Level 3 of the Bexley Wing. The facility gives services for adult haemophilia patients their own dedicated home for the first time, as previously they shared rooms with other clinics. The rooms are used by the hospitals’ haemophilia team including doctors, nurses and physiotherapists.
Dr Lishel Horn, lead consultant for the adult haemophilia service, said: “The event was a fantastic opportunity to raise our profile and celebrate the facilities we have in place to help people with these rare disorders.
“Users of our adult service told us they wanted their own dedicated space to come to, and feedback from them has been very positive. We are extremely grateful to the Charitable Foundation for funding the conversion of our rooms, and to Antony for coming along to make it a memorable day.”
Leeds Teaching Hospitals is one of the 28 comprehensive care haemophilia centres in the country, with the adult service at St James’s being mirrored by a paediatric service based in the Leeds Children’s Hospital at Leeds General Infirmary.
Haemophilia is an inherited condition that affects the blood’s ability to clot, and around 6,000 people in the UK are affected. Thanks to modern treatments a person with the condition can usually enjoy a good quality of life.
Pictured front, left to right: Alex Rowell, Haemophilia nurse; Thuvia Flannery, Haemophilia physio; Bernard Atha, former Chairman of LTHT Charitable Fooundation; special guest, Antony Cotton; Dr Lishel Horn, Consultant haematologist; Ann South, Haemophilia physio; Angela Westoby, Haemophilia nurse; Musrat Pinnu, Social worker and Dr Mike Richards, Consultant haematologist.