Join us for the 2021 Virtual NKF Patients' Event!

This year's event is entirely virtual, meaning you can enjoy the speakers from the comfort of your own home.

We have a range of engaging and informative patient and professional speakers lined up.

The provisional programme is below.

The day will start at 10:00am and finish at 2:00pm.

To book your free place register below, or contact us on 01909 544 999 or at [email protected]

Thank you to the event's sponsors, Becton, Dickinson and Company and Renal Services.

Summary of our Speakers

10:25 – 10:50
Kidne
y Sharing Scheme – NHS Blood and Transplant with Lisa Burnapp

Lisa Burnapp, Clinical Lead Living Donation, will talk about the principles that underpin the UK Living Kidney Sharing Scheme, how it works and whom it benefits. From small beginnings in 2007, she will outline the developments that have led to the scheme becoming one of the largest kidney exchange programmes of its type and the plans to increase transplant opportunities for adults and children through the scheme that are embedded in the new ‘UK Organ Donation and Transplantation Strategy 2030: Meeting the Need’.

Lisa has a background in nephrology and transplantation and an MA in Medical Law and Ethics. She was appointed as a Consultant Nurse in Living Donor Kidney Transplantation at Guy’s & St. Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust in 2002, where she retains a clinical attachment with a special interest in non-directed altruistic donation. She is the clinical lead for living donation at NHS Blood & Transplant and has facilitated development and implementation of UK Strategies for living donor transplantation, including the UK Living Kidney Sharing Scheme, since 2010. She is the current President of the British Transplantation Society (BTS) and was a founding member of the BTS Living Donor Forum and co-edited best practice guidelines for the Society over a number of years. She has been a member of the Human Tissue Authority Transplant Advisory Group since its inception in 2005 and is on the living organ donation working group within the Ethical, Legal and Psychological Aspects of Transplantation section of the European Society for Organ Transplantation.

10:50 - 11:15
Rally Together to Make Change with Professor Jeremy Hughes


The pandemic highlighted more than ever the need to improve outcomes and prospects for people living with kidney disease.

In this short session, Professor Jeremy Hughes, Chair of Kidney Research UK will be sharing;

  • The latest updates on the Covid-19 research and what this means for kidney patients
  • Research ambitions for the future and how we can work together to transform kidney health
  • The latest from the transforming treatments campaign which shows the realities of living with kidney disease and aims to raise £3m for research within 3 years.
Jeremy Hughes is Professor of Experimental Nephrology at the University of Edinburgh and Honorary Consultant in the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary.

He was chair of the Research Grants Committee at Kidney Research UK for five years and then became a trustee in 2018.

His main periods of work have been in London, Seattle and now Edinburgh with broad research interests primarily focused upon the study of inflammation, scarring and healing within the kidney.

He is very much involved with medical student education and leads the Health Sciences degree programme that aims to provide students with the skills to become future (maybe renal) researchers.

11.30 – 11:55 What does my kidney pharmacist do? With Kathrine Parker

Kathrine Parker, a Renal Pharmacist at Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust will highlight the role of a kidney pharmacist. The talk will look at differences between a hospital pharmacist compared to the local community pharmacist and describe how a kidney pharmacist might be involved in your care. Importantly it will discuss how a kidney pharmacist might be able to support you and advice they can offer. Conversely it will consider how your support can ensure you receive the best treatments for you. Kathrine will close her talk with the journey of her role as a kidney pharmacist and discuss how her relationship with patients has evolved and shaped her work over the last 11 years.

Kathrine has been a renal pharmacist since 2010. She works with kidney patients in transplant clinics, on dialysis units and on the inpatient kidney wards. In 2012 she undertook the non-medical prescribing course which she uses within the renal transplant clinic. She completed her masters in clinical pharmacy in 2017 which focused on infections and reasons for hospitalisations in older kidney transplant recipients. She has special interests in vitamin D in chronic kidney disease, treatment of peritoneal dialysis infections and blood thinning drugs. In September 2020 she started a 3 year research study looking at blood thinning drugs in kidney patients funded by the National Institute for Healthcare research (NIHR). This study will be working with patients but also receives regular input and advice from a patient co-applicant and a local kidney patient research advisory group.


11:55 – 12:20 Endovascular Fistula for Haemodialysis with James Gilbert

James Gilbert is a Transplant and Vascular Access Surgeon at the Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust, UK. He is a specialist in Kidney & Pancreas Transplantation and Vascular access surgery and has an interest and expertise in complex access in patients with central vein pathology.

James currently leads the Vascular access programme in Oxford. He inserted Europe’s first HeRO graft in 2013 and has the biggest European experience of HeRO graft usage in central vein stenosis. He has a big experience with early cannulation grafts and has also developed a vascular access programme for patients with intestinal failure. James is developing an access related clinical research programme and is overseeing several exciting clinical studies.

James is an educationalist and has a Master’s in Education. He regularly looks to teach and develop health care professionals in the fields of transplant and dialysis access. He contributes to several international developmental courses and annual meetings. James is currently the President of the Vascular Access Society of Britain & Ireland (VASBI).  

12.20 – 12:45 My Kidney Journey with Stephen Higgins

Stephen Higgins was diagnosed with Stage 4 kidney failure in 2016 and is currently on the transplant waiting list.

Having grown up in South London, raised by a Mother who was a Shop Steward at Ford. Stephen Higgins is a lifelong activist. Cutting his teeth with various Trade Unions over the years. He has found himself advocating for those without a voice. More recently, Stephen has rediscovered his love of film making and intends to use that as a way of raising awareness around issues close to his heart.

13:10 – 13:30 My Life: Football and Kidney Disease with Andrew Cole

Nina Nannar, Arts Editor at ITV News, will be talking to former professional footballer Andrew Cole. Their conversation will focus on his experience of kidney disease, from diagnosis to transplant and the importance of mental health and wellbeing for kidney patients. He will talk about his life prior to kidney disease, his life following and the importance of research and awareness.

Andrew Cole is a former professional footballer, a Premiership and international football star and one of the most successful strikers of all time. He is most well known for playing for Manchester United and Newcastle United. Andrew retired from football in 2008. In 2015 he caught a virus on a work trip which led to him developing a rare condition that damaged his kidneys. Andrew had kidney failure which saw him go through life-saving but gruelling dialysis treatment until he underwent a kidney transplant in 2017.

Andrew is passionate about helping others cope with the challenges of kidney disease and transplants. In 2020, he set up the Andy Cole Fund with Kidney Research UK to provide support for the mental health and well-being of kidney patients, as well as funding pioneering research into improving kidney transplants.

13:30 – 13:55 Covid-19 and Its Impact on Dialysis with Nicola Ward

Nicola has been a renal nurse since 1993, completed her nurse training at The Royal Free Hospital in London and has worked in several renal units. Previous roles include Deputy Chief Nurse and Lead Nurse for an independent renal service provider. Nicola discovered a passion for infection prevention and control, and she studied to gain an IPC qualification at Kings College in London.

Nicola joined Renal Services (UK) Ltd in March 2020 and was appointed to Head of Nursing earlier this year.

The last 18 months with Covid-19 in our lives have been challenging to all. Nicola discusses the impact on dialysis patients, starting with the early days and the relative ease of catching Covid and takes us through the journey of enhanced universal precautions, shielding, triage, one-way systems. Will these heightened measures become the new norm in our dialysis units?