SAINTS legend Francis Benali joined staff and patients to open a new multi million urology centre in Southampton yesterday.

Franny, who received an MBE in the New Year’s Honours List for his services to charity after raising more than £1 million for Cancer Research UK, arrived at University Hospital Southampton yesterday at 12pm to cut the ribbon to open the £2.2 million centre.

The development at the hospital reached completion at the end of last year and represents the first purpose-built location for the service.

Among the facilities are new clinic and treatment rooms which enable the team to carry out more procedures and tests promptly without the need to admit patients.

The centre also includes a reception area and dedicated waiting rooms, advanced technology including a lithotripsy suite to treat kidney stones using shock waves and a staff room with additional offices.

Among the new equipment is a novel £16k diagnostic chair, funded by Prostate Cancer South Support Charity Organisation, which prevents the need for patients to go to theatre for prostate cancer investigations and diagnoses.

Franny said: "[The hospital] do so much fantastic work and when I got approached to open the new centre I really wanted to support everyone.

"The work they do is fantastic, and more importantly it is so much better for the patients.

"It will make a massive difference bringing everyone together in the same place."

Members of the clinical team, including doctors, nurses, support staff and management, were involved throughout the project and assisted with all stages of planning and building – and even produced some of the artwork on display for patients and visitors.

The urology department at UHS sees patients from across southern England and the Channel Islands for a range of issues including benign and malignant prostate, bladder, kidney and testicular disorders, renal stones, reconstructive surgery and complex urinary incontinence.

Mark Harris, a consultant urological surgeon, said: “Our new diagnostic and treatment rooms enable us to carry out more procedures and tests in an outpatient setting without the need for admission, giving us more opportunity to provide a “one-stop” service.

“Additionally, the space and our services being co-located will enable us to deliver more innovative tests and procedures which reduce the need for anaesthetic and mean we can further improve the experience our patients receive.”