Renal Interventions have published an article on equitable access to home therapies.

There are multiple barriers to home dialysis initiation, and these disproportionately affect vulnerable populations. Current solutions need to be scaled up, with particular emphasis on educating physicians on home dialysis, improving modality education, increasing support for patients and families, and changing financial incentives to favour building home dialysis programmes. There is also a need to better understand culturally specific barriers to home dialysis choice. This was the crux of a presentation by Jenny Shen (Division of Nephrology and Hypertension, David Geffen School of Medicine at University of California, Los Angeles, USA) on ensuring equitable access to home dialysis at the UK Kidney Week virtual conference (UKKW; 4–7 October 2021).

Honorary President of the National Kidney Federation, Kirit Modi, was one of the panellists at the UKKW event and features within the article discussing the importance of change to home dialysis policies and practices.

“In January 2021, the UK NKF published a report urging the kidney community to step up and increase home dialysis provision. It makes seven recommendations, and the charity also wants all adults in the UK to reach a minimum prevalence rate of 20% of their dialysis population on home dialysis by the end of 2024. “We need to look at policies and practices at the highest levels, because I do not think that units providing [in-centre] dialysis are sufficiently accountable for what they do,” Kirit said. “And, therefore, nobody questions and challenges them, because the data has been there for a long time.”

With regard to the levers for change, he set his sights on improving the support for patients considering dialysis modalities. “Many patients do not know enough about home dialysis and its benefits, and can be worried about taking on extra responsibility. That is where the NKF is increasing the range of support it provides to home dialysis patients.”

In September 2021, the NKF established a peer support service for home dialysis patients and carers, giving them the opportunity to talk in confidence to those with first-hand experience of home dialysis. “We are hoping that will help patients up and down the country so they are empowered to ask the question locally—to say, can I please be considered [for home dialysis]?”

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To read the Renal Interventions article in full visit their webpage here