Prince Philip

Prince Philip

The Duke of Edinburgh has opened a new heart centre in Luton.

The 91-year-old royal took a guided tour of the cardiac unit at Luton and Dunstable Hospital, South Eastern England, before officially declaring it open.

Spencer Colvin, chairman of the NHS Foundation Trust, said: "This project has involved a challenging and imaginative redesign of the original hospital building to provide us with a high-quality facility and a service which benefits so many local people."

The £5.5m centre has been operational since last year, and will treat approximately 700 people annually.

Dr Christopher Travill, Consultant Cardiologist at the 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."

Matters of the heart are very close to Prince Philip, as he had to be treated for a blocked coronary artery at Papworth Hospital in Cambridgeshire in 2011. He also had tests on his heart as a precautionary measure when he was hospitalised last August for a bladder infection, but was deemed to be fit and healthy.

A royal aide said at the time: "He was given top-to-toe tests including heart checks because they were concerned. They were worried about his ticker and wanted to be sure."

The prince was deemed fit and healthy and discharged after five days of treatment and back to his royal duties in no time.

He has since kept up a busy schedule of visits and public engagements.