On 6th July 2022, the National Kidney Federation (NKF) held a Parliamentary Reception sponsored by Brendan Clarke-Smith, Bassetlaw MP, at the House of Commons. It was attended by over 50 people, including MPs and peers, kidney charities, NHS England and industry partners to raise awareness on their new campaign report Increasing Home Dialysis in the Context of Covid-19.

The purpose of the NKF’s Parliamentary Reception was to share findings from their report and discuss the vital improvements that are needed for kidney patients as well as asking MPs to help take action. 

Currently there are over three million people with Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) in the UK, and over 60,000 have end-stage kidney disease, meaning they are either on some form of dialysis treatment or have had a kidney transplant.

Dialysis is a lifesaving treatment which removes waste products and excess fluid from the blood when the kidneys stop working properly. If the kidneys are not working to a healthy capacity, waste products and fluid can build up to dangerous levels in the body and if left untreated can be fatal. Dialysis patients typically require three or more dialysis sessions per week, which can last for around four hours or more and can either receive treatment within a hospital or from home after training.

Systemic issues were raised in relation to increasing home dialysis treatment, this was covered within the opening of the reception by NKF Honorary President, Kirit Modi MBE. Referring to the NKF’s One Year On Report, Kirit said; “Covid has highlighted the lack of home therapies issue because data shows patients that dialyse from home were able to protect themselves much better from Covid compared to patients that dialyse in hospital. The idea of our campaign is to provide annual reports with transparent data and to share it widely until we see some change. We need to do more to support our patients. Not all kidney patients are familiar with why they should consider dialysing at home.”

The sponsor of the event, Brendan Clarke-Smith MP, closed the day of events, “We have the All Party Parliamentary Groups (APPG) where we have people from all over parliament, various experiences, various political parties, that are all passionate about particular causes.

One of things that has been focused on at the Parliamentary Reception is home dialysis and what we can do to encourage more people to take that up. The National Health Service we know is under great strain, we’ve got to try and get waiting lists down, a backlog to clear, and I think that giving people the option of doing things at home helps with that as well. We want to make sure we get to an uptake of 20% or beyond for dialysis treatment at home and that we can facilitate that.”

NKF Chief Executive, Andrea Brown said “We are delighted to have held yet another Parliamentary Reception. We are so proud how far we have come as a charity to shine a light on awareness to kidney disease and to campaign on vital matters such as increasing home dialysis treatment. I would like to express my thanks and appreciation to all of those that attended, including our guest speakers for delivering their presentations on why we need to continue with the lever for change towards home dialysis treatment.”

Find out more about the National Kidney Federation and their work on home dialysis: https://www.kidney.org.uk/Pages/Category/home-dialysis