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Joint Enterprise Wins Award to Scale up Shared Haemodialysis Care Improvement

A project designed to help patients on haemodialysis (HD) has been selected to be part of The Health Foundation's £3.5 million Scaling Up Improvement programme. 

The project is led by a team at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in collaboration with partners including Kidney Research UK.

The Scaling Up Improvement programme is supporting seven health care projects in the UK with the aim to improve health care delivery and/or the way people manage their own care through the delivery of successful health care improvement interventions at a larger scale.

The Shared Haemodialysis Care project seeks to improve the quality of life and outlook of patients on haemodialysis (HD) by supporting them to become more independent in managing their own dialysis. Nurses help patients learn how to perform a series of treatment related tasks associated with HD, such as preparing equipment, measuring weight and blood pressure and self-cannulation. Patients take on as many of these tasks as they feel comfortable with. Patients involved in the project have become more confident, and reported better psychological and physical outcomes. The associated increase in home-based dialysis during this period during this period has resulted in an estimated saving of £1.2m to the NHS over the last five years.

"From just turning up and being dialysed to participating in the Shared Haemodialysis Care project meant I felt in more control of my condition and it gave me my confidence back as well as teaching me more about my condition and my medications," said Mike May, a patient from Yorkshire & Humberside involved in the original project. "Once fully trained and doing my own treatments the Shared Haemodialysis Care project enabled me to be more independent, as well as giving me a certain amount of freedom with my dialysis sessions. In addition, I understood my blood results more which helped me make my own decisions, and I was happier in myself."

Over the course of the programme the Shared Haemodialysis Care Scaling Up project team will take the approaches that have been tested at a small scale in the Yorkshire and Humberside area and deliver them at a larger scale, across 12 renal units across the country.

Project lead Professor Martin Wilkie, from Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said, "We are delighted that more HD patients will have the opportunity to take a greater role in their own care through our empowering project, thanks to the funding from the Health Foundation. Through this intervention we intend to deliver not only the best outcomes for patients, but also to utilise health care resources as effectively as possible, in partnership with a number of leading organisations."

The programme will run for two and a half years and will receive up to £500,000 of funding to support the implementation and evaluation of the work.

Sarah Henderson, Associate Director from the Health Foundation said: "We are very excited to be working with these seven outstanding project teams who have been selected because of their expertise in scaling complex improvement projects, and their ambition to achieve real impact through improving the quality of care.

"Together, as part of the Scaling Up programme, we will aim to make lasting and sustained improvements to health care by testing out proven ideas at a large scale. We hope that this programme will result in these interventions being widely adopted across the UK." Professor Martin Wilkie and team will be working with a wide range of organisations to deliver the project, including 12 NHS trusts and patient charities.

Kidney Research UK is supporting the delivery using its experience in patient engagement and advisory support, communications and in scaling-up programmes across the UK, gained from projects such as ASSIST CKD (which is also supported by a grant from the Health Foundation and maps data from routine blood tests to detect patients with the early signs of progressive kidney damage) across 20 centres.

"We are delighted to be working with Professor Martin Wilkie and the rest of the Sheffield team to improve the quality of life and care for more patients across more sites," said Michael Nation, Director of Development for Kidney Research UK. "We will be using our experience and learnings from other improvement projects as our goal as a research charity is to ensure that the best evidence translates into real and sustainable patient benefit. We want shared HD care to become the norm across all dialysis centres." 

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