York Nephrologist's Report on Jonkoping Self Care Haemodialysis Unit Visit, October 2011
Jonkoping Ryhov Hospital caters for a population of approximately 140,000 and the hospital provide an acute and chronic service to its inhabitants. The Renal unit is set within the grounds of the hospital that appears to provide acute and chronic services. The renal unit cost £500,000 to build and comprises of a 12 station haemodialysis unit, a PD unit that currently has approximately 21 patients at home and a self care unit.
Arrival at the new renal unit in Jonkoping Ryhov Hospital is a warm, friendly and relaxing experience. The Scandinavian timber building is modern, light and bright and set beautifully amongst old established trees and parklandesque areas of well-manicured grassland. Plenty of parking and easy access for specialized vehicles carrying wheel chairs with simple and direct access into this single story, purpose built unit through 3 access points. A feeling of quality and well thought out design is present everywhere and the automatic entry doors equipped with electronic safety systems give a secure feeling for safety and well being.
During our time at the Trust we have both been committed to developing renal services for our local communities and have taken a personal interest in making sure these services continue to grow. This began with the opening of the renal dialysis unit at York Hospital in 1999, and under ambitious clinical leadership has grown to include several satellite units, home haemodialysis, and the first self care unit in Selby.
There is a lot of evidence demonstrating that the more people are involved in their care the better the experience, the safer the care and that the outcomes improve. The NHS somehow forgot this important fact over the last few decades but thankfully the kidney care team in York have rediscovered this principal and have been working hard to develop the skills, competences and confidence to support individual patients getting involved in their care.
I began dialysis when I was nineteen – twelve years ago. I had PD dialysis at home for three years, but I was fortunate to then have a transplant from 2005 to 2010. It was November 2010 when I needed to transfer back to dialysis, which I started in York. This was three days a week, with four hour slots. However, the process was always far longer than four hours – a session scheduled to begin at 4pm, could result in my return home at a time as late as 00.45; four hours easily became six, seven or eight hours spent not just at the hospital, but travelling, waiting for other patients to finish and preparing for dialysis.