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

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Annual Report of the Executive Committee 2010-2011

Annual Report of the Executive Committee 2010-2011 (incorporating elements from the 2010 Half yearly report)

The NKF has had a spectacular 2010 – in fact it has to be seen as one of the most successful years that the Federation has ever had – the benefits to our patients are both important and numerous, however the economic downturn within the UK does cast a long and serious economic shadow that has already been felt by the NKF in the first three months of 2011

The Officer team

The AGM of 2010 saw a brand new team of NKF Officers. Marion Higgins took over from Ray Mackey as Chairman, Kirit Modi as Vice Chairman, Michael “Bud” Abbot as Secretary whilst David Macdonald serves his last year as Treasurer. The Executive Committee was strengthened with a number of “new faces” and now consists of the officers plus, William Bradbury, Richard Cooke, John Keenan, Sandy Lines, Barbara Morris, Robert Price, Tracey Sinclair, Alan Sutton and Mick Walker. Ewen Maclean was co-opted from the Scottish Federation. Sam Wood representing young@nkf, joins as the leader of an affiliated group.


The NKF has established a new working committee “diaysis@home, it’s my choice” which has begun work to ensure that our Dialysis patient members are given real information and real choice when opting for their preferred treatment – Pre-Dialysis Transplant, Haemodialysis or Peritoneal Dialysis, Dialysis in Hospital, Satellite Unit or at Home. Only with choice can our patients expect to receive optimum treatment that improves their Quality of Life and extends their life expectancy. The NKF supported by a grant from Baxter Healthcare is at the front of this campaign.

We are also working closely with NHS Kidney Care who is also promoting Home Dialysis via the Regional Renal Groups throughout the UK.


The NKF spent 2010 demanding that the numbers of Transplant operations increase. We pointed out that only 1% of those who die whilst on the organ donor register have their organs used for Transplantation. Finally and after a great deal of work the Transplant Tsar has accepted that Organs from Non-Heart Beating Donors provide very suitable Transplants, and that the numbers of Transplants might well be doubled by harvesting these organs from Accident and Emergency Units as well as from Intensive Care Units. This single change has the capacity to end the need for a Transplant waiting list within three years, providing that the reductions in some forms of Transplantation can be halted and that relatives of potential donors can be persuaded not to thwart their loved ones wishes at the eleventh hour. The NKF is now working hard to ensure this major and magnificent change takes place quickly. This change coupled with the work being done to implement the organ donation Taskforce report (another NKF inspired initiative ) means that the prospects for transplantation have never looked brighter.


The NKF has seen a real growth in the number of patients who ring the NKF Helpline following the early diagnosis of a kidney problem. This is absolute proof that the NKF campaign to get patients identified early and stabilised in accordance with Part 2 of the renal NSF is paying off. Now we can advise these callers that early problems such as Anaemia or high blood pressure must get treatment and how to go about ensuring that this happens.

All Party Parliamentary Kidney Group (APPKG)

During and following, the General Election, the NKF used its 45,000 registered ESRF patients to get commitments from parliamentary candidates to support Kidney Disease. This NKF work resulted in the launch of a completely refreshed and new APPKG consisting of 130 MPs and Lords – one of the largest groups within Parliament. There is a brand new team of officers, and a programme of very exciting work already in place. In November the group heard a presentation by Dr Donal O’Donoghue the renal Tsar, on the basic issues surrounding renal care and on 28th March the group will hear a presentation by Chris Rudge the Transplantation Tsar. The MP’s have also been very active – putting down renal questions that elicit answers from Ministers and hosting the World Kidney Day reception in the House of Commons.

World Kidney Day (WKD)

The NKF wished to expand the effectiveness of WKD in the UK, and put into place a method of direct communication between our 68 Kidney patient Associations and the International organisers of WKD. We believe this will ramp up the level of activity and free all these organisations from following central UK plans if they do not wish to do so, although it has to be said that the Kidney Alliance do a great job acting as the UK, WKD umbrella organisation in the UK. Many KPA’ immediately registered and downloaded the International organiser’s toolkit. We are very excited by this development and will be supporting all the new initiatives that develop in coming years. We look forward to seeing the results of these changes on 10th March 2011 and the resulting activities reported in Kidney Life Magazine – and, we hope, the UK press as a whole. We also asked all our Industry Partners to get involved in World Kidney day and we acted as the facilitators so that the 9th March 2011 reception could be held in the House of Commons.


The NKF is hosting the UK version of a CEAPIR patient survey aimed at improving the quality of renal treatment available within Europe. Every renal patient is urged to visit the NKF website www.kidney.org.uk and fill an online survey form in. Marion Higgins and Ray Mackey are the NKF’s representatives at CEAPIR meetings. Ray is CEAPIR General Secretary.

Industry Partners

The NKF continues to benefit from the financial support and guidance offered to it by its 16 Industry Partners. These companies are an invaluable asset to the charity and we thank them for their assistance. Several more companies are currently being approached to join the NKF as Industry Partners, but it is already very clear that their own budgets are now being squeezed by the UK downturn and this means that there is less money to sponsor organisations such as the NKF.


The NKF continues to steer a cautious path through the current turbulent economic climate. It is rewarding to note from the financial report that despite the obvious difficulties the NKF remains financially secure. We are indebted to David, our Treasurer. We can also report that during the year the Executive Committee searched for, interviewed, and then appointed Andrew Motley a specialist financial advisor so that the income from NKF investments can be maximised whilst doing everything possible to ensure security for the capital sums.

New Ventures

The NKF continues to embark upon new ventures to benefit our patient members, these include an NKF Development Plan, NKF Liaison Officers, an NKF media /social media subcommittee, a fundraising subcommittee, representation on Black Minority Ethnic (BME) groups and a new format for the NKF website, Conference, AGM and Executive meetings. The NKF is also introducing new policies to benefit staff, a new staff contract and an updated staff handbook. Two new partition walls have been erected at the HQ so that incoming credit/Debit card transactions may be completed privately and securely.

Fund Raising

The new fundraising sub committee have been hard at work preparing the ground for some new initiatives aimed at encouraging our supporters to put on events that will benefit the NKF. Support packs are being prepared and we are part of two schemes “ Just Giving” and “Virgin Money” that make the task of collecting in sponsorship monies much easier for the supporter. Laura Gleadell will be running the London Marathon in support of the NKF and we ask you all to support her effort by sponsoring her via her JustGiving website.


The original NKF Young Persons Group has now formerly been disbanded and its place taken over by a new group young@nkf lead by Sam Wood. This group is nothing like the group it replaced being a “cyberspace “ organisation that exists mainly on FaceBook and Twitter. Social Networking sites like these are very powerful and already the group can count on nearly 100 followers. The NKF wishes them well and keeps track of their activities by way of young@nkf reports to the NKF Executive Committee.

NKF Roadshow (Conference)

The NKF Conference Committee chaired by Barbara Morris staged a magnificent “Roadshow” at the Hinckley Island Hotel in October. It was a great occasion with Celebrity Chef Lawrence Keogh cooking up a storm and all present having a really great and informative time.

The next Roadshow is to be in Blackpool this year and for the first time we expect to be able to offer Credit/Debit card booking facilities.

The Future

Kidney Life remains the NKF’s “jewel in the crown” eagerly awaited by our patient members and superbly edited by Deborah Duval. However the NKF also benefits from an advocacy service consisting of two regional advocacy officers Dennis Crane and Denis Cawdron and two national officer – Bob Dunn, and newcomer Nicholas Palmer. The Conference heard of Bob Dunns plans to retire on 31st March 2011. This report would like to thank Bob for his dedication to the NKF and wish both him and his wife Val a very long and happy retirement.

The NKF also has of course the telephone Helpline managed by Pauline Pinkos and supported by Julie Watson and benefits from the extensive range of medical information leaflets that they supply.

We thank all our staff (including Joni Thorpe our new senior office administrator) and all the volunteers who have helped make 2010/2011 a year that the NKF can be proud of.

I commend this report to you.

Marion Higgins
NKF Chairman
March 2011