My name is Marianne Hawes and I have been a haemodialysis patient for eighteen and a half years. I have experienced three renal units, as a resident patient, in that time, in different parts of the country.
"Are you able to accommodate a change in your lifestyle” was the question asked of me, by my consultant, 8 years ago as my kidney’s failed and dialysis loomed. I’d read about dialysis even visited the ward a couple of times as I had a close friend who dialysed there. I was prepared for the treatment, I knew about that but what caught me out was the change in lifestyle, I wasn’t prepared for that and who can prepare you for that when everybody’s lives are different.
Approximately 20,000 patients have haemodialysis (HD) treatment in the UK. They spend 4 hours three times a week ‘being taken care of’ by our dialysis nurses. They are passive recipients of care, with patients describing dialysis as a ‘thief of time’ and as a process in which they have no control in their own care.
This is the story of how patients with kidney failure requiring dialysis three times a week, have had their independence and confidence restored. The shared care programme aims to reverse a trend of declining patients’ independence in dialysis and improve patients access to shared haemodialysis care.