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Statement by NHS Kidney Care 18th February 2010

NHS Kidney Care has welcomed the Secretary of State’s support for patients who wish to dialyse at home and to support this NHS Kidney Care has announced a package of measures to help kidney services improve choice for patients wishing to dialyse at home with the aim of enabling all patients to make an informed choice — in consultation with their clinicians — from a full range of clinically appropriate treatment options.

Many patients choose to dialyse at home. It removes their need to travel to renal units or satellites, gives them greater flexibility about how often and when they dialyse and allows them to take more responsibility for their own care. The majority of patients who dialyse at home are on peritoneal dialysis.

Nutritional status, physiological markers, quality of life and patient survival are improved on home haemodialysis compared to both facility-based and peritoneal dialysis. This is believed to be because patients are able to dialyse more frequently and are more engaged in managing their own condition.

Home haemodialysis is cost effective when compared to haemodialysis in a hospital or satellite setting.

NHS Kidney Care and the Department of Health will work with the NHS to improve the provision of home haemodialysis in line with NICE recommendations.

NHS Kidney Care has:

  • Produced a report, Improving Choice for Kidney Patients: Home Dialysis, which identifies the key barriers with potential solutions and examples of ‘what works’
  • Developed a ‘toolkit’ for commissioners and providers via the NHS Kidney Care website, which includes access to model business cases.
  • A framework for accessing its problem-solving fund for Kidney Care Networks to overcome local barriers to implementation. This might for example be used to devise the best local arrangement for support services for patients at home
  • Published information for patients and carers including dialysis patients’ stories, videos showing what to expect, and on the benefits of dialysing at home
  • Created a dedicated section in the topic tree of NHS evidence containing a comprehensive list of papers and articles on home dialysis

Dr Donal O’Donoghue, the National Clinical Director for Kidney Care will lead workshops in each region to facilitate sharing of best practice in overcoming barriers to choice and provision of home treatment to drive and support change. These will take place in the first half of the next financial year.

This is great news for kidney patients. We know that many patients will benefit from being able to undertake their haemodialysis at home and we are determined to support them and the clinicians who look after them to achieve this.

More information about home haemodialysis, our report and toolkit can be found on our website www.kidneycare.nhs.uk.

Click here to read the Department of Health press release containing statements by the Secretary of State.