"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.
Shared Haemodialysis Care is radically improving health outcomes for kidney patients in Yorkshire and the Humber. Thanks to an innovative project developed in conjunction with patients from across our region and sponsored by The Health Foundation and NHS Kidney Care, 90% of 1800 patients are now actively participating in their own haemodialysis treatment.
Haemodialysis treatment, initially only for patients with reversible acute kidney injury, was pioneered in three sites in the United Kingdom in the 1950s, one of which was in Yorkshire at the Leeds General Infirmary. The treatment then became available for people with kidney failure which was not going to recover, initially cited at the big hospitals in Leeds, Sheffield and Hull. Subsequently kidney units were established in the hospitals in Bradford and York and more recently Doncaster. As well as the six main unit renal dialysis centres in these cities, there are 20 satellite dialysis units which were opened to serve local communities and reduce the need for patients to travel long distances for treatment. These units serve from Skipton in the West to Scarborough in the North East, Grimsby in the East and Chesterfield the most southerly. The geographical area covered is West Yorkshire, North Yorkshire, the East Riding of Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, along with North Lincolnshire, and patients travel from the adjoining regions particularly Darbyshire and Bassetlaw.
The Shared Haemodialysis Care programme in Yorkshire and the Humber was funded in 2010 by the Health Foundation as part of its "Closing the Gap through Changing Relationships Programme" and led by a multidisciplinary team of professionals and patient partners. We also received financial support from NHS Kidney Care. Our influences included work that had been done one patient engagement in dialysis at Guys and St Thomas's, and also the experience in Jonkoping Sweden.