Rugby great Martin Johnson officially opens Harborough's St Luke's Hospital

Martin Johnson at St Luke's
Martin Johnson at St Luke's

Market Harborough's rugby great Martin Johnson officially opened the town's St Luke's hospital today (Thursday).

The six foot seven inch Martin (47) unveiled a commemorative plaque at the new Treatment Centre off Leicester Road. And Martin, who lives locally, said he had already used St Luke's himself.

Martin Johnson at St Luke's

Martin Johnson at St Luke's

"I had an ear infection. I don't really like going in because I always think there are people more needy than you, but it bloody hurt, so I thought I'd better go and see someone.

"I saw a nurse and was in an out quickly and back home, and I thought it was fantastic," he said.

The £7.5m St Luke's has been treating patients since March, and more than 10,000 patients - including Martin - have been through the doors already.

Tim Sacks, chief operating officer of East Leicestershire and Rutland Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said: "We're incredibly lucky to have such a great facility, which was worked for so hard by so many people."

Martin Johnson at St Luke's

Martin Johnson at St Luke's

Helen Mather, Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland Alliance Director added: "Staff have fond memories of the old District Hospital, but they're really pleased with the facilities we've got here."

She added that patients loved it too: surveys had shown that 85 per cent of patients were "extremely likely" to recommend the hospital to others.​

Dr Richard Palin, the chair of East Leicestershire and Rutland CCG, said it was great to "celebrate something very positive for the whole of east Leicestershire and Rutland".

Cllr Phil Knowles, who campaigned for the hospital for 29 years, said: "It's a tremendous day. And the proof that we needed this facility is there to see when over 10,000 people have come through already."