Dancing on Ice star Dan Whiston took a day out of his busy schedule on the hit ITV show to open a newly refurbished unit at Blackpool Victoria Hospital.
The show’s Blackpool-born associate creative director opened the new pre-operative assessment area at the hospital, which allows staff to get patients ready for surgery faster.
Dan said: “I’ve got a day off from Dancing on Ice and it’s great to be able to come here and open this new unit.”
He was invited to the event by his sister, Emma Whiston, an advanced practitioner service lead in pre-assessment, who played a major part in the development of the unit.
She said: “We started the work in September and the whole programme took about five months to come to fruition
“When I came into post I was aware the area was under utilised and we needed more than two clinical rooms to provide the best patient care.
“The business plan was to turn two rooms into four modern rooms. By doing that we are now able to see more patients in a more timely manner and get more patients ready for surgery quicker which is good for patients and good for the service.
“It also means patients can come and have their diagnoses and be listed and have their pre operative assessment on the same day which means everything is done in one journey and they don’t have to come back.”
Dan added: “It’s a very exciting time for my sister Emma and the other service lead Elaine Cawley and their team.
“They can double the service they had before and also make it a one stop shop for patients so they don’t have to come back to the hospital for extra tests which is really important.
“It’s very exciting and it’s brilliant for me to part of such a project.”
The area was developed thanks to the support of Blue Skies Hospitals Fund, the charity of Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
Kila Redfearn, head of Blue Skies, said: “The charity is here to back schemes that improve patient care and this really does meet that criteria.
“It is a fantastic new development which will make a massive difference to patients and to the staff who work in the area.”