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The largest kidney patient charity in the UK. Run by kidney patients, for kidney patients.

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Home Dialysis Working Group

Dialysis - Home Dialysis Working Group

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Home Dialysis Working Group

During 2009 the NKF continued to receive anecdotal evidence to the effect that more frequent dialysis (than the established regimens of three four hour sessions a week in hospital) can lead to fitter patients who live longer lives. The Federation accepted that with Hospital Units struggling to keep up with the demand for dialysis, to expect more sessions to be provided within the unit was unrealistic and not an option wanted by many patients who found the existing three times a week dialysis more than enough of a burden.

The NKF believed that the answer is for up to 40% of suitable patients to treat themselves at home. This then gives the patient the option to dialyse more frequently, and at a time that suits themselves, possibly even nocturnally.

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) reported in 2002 that they felt that 15% of HD patients could and should be treated at home. The NKF believes this figure to be right and that when coupled with 25% of PD patients as many as 40% of patients could “Self Care” in the Home environment. This would be better for the patients, cheaper for the NHS, and would free up capacity in over stretched units. The patients left dialyzing in Hospital units would benefit from the relaxation of patient numbers passing through each unit.

To try to ensure that this change came about, the NKF set up a Home Dialyse Working Group in the House of Lords, chaired by Lord Davies of Coity. The initial members of the group are:-

  • Lord Davies of Coity CBE
  • Timothy Statham OBE
  • Lucy Botting
  • Dr Edwina Brown
  • Richard Cooke
  • Dr Richard Fluck
  • Nesta Hawker
  • Marion Higgins
  • Jane MacDonald

The group is supported financially by Baxter Healthcare and professionally administered.

The group was so immediately successful in its lobbying that by early February 2010, the aims and objectives of the group were being accepted and echoed by The Secretary Of State for Health Andy Burnham MP, the Under Secretary of State for Health Anne Keen MP, the Department of Health, and Kidney Care.

The Working group now feel that the original objective “to persuade opinion formers and leaders” has been achieved, and they are currently re-focusing their attention on the implementation of this policy.