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Dialysis Transport Working Group Report Launches

The NKF is pleased to have been involved in this new important report into transport for dialysis patients. 

Currently in the United Kingdom around 25,000 people with end-stage kidney disease receive haemodialysis at either a hospital or a stand-alone dialysis facility (often known as a satellite unit).

The majority of these patients are totally reliant on transport being provided for them to get them to and from their dialysis treatment. This is due to the fact that the majority of them are likely to be frail and vulnerable, and often have many other long-term chronic diseases, such as heart disease and diabetes.

The side effects of receiving haemodialysis treatment can include exhaustion, nausea, large variations in blood pressure and deterioration in mental health. One in three patients suffer at some point clinical depression.

Haemodialysis is a life-saving from of treatment, which is usually performed 3 times per week on each patient, for a minimum of 4 hours for each particular dialysis session.

When you take into account the time it takes to get a patient prepared for the dialysis session when they arrive for the treatment, and the time required post-treatment to take them off the dialysis machine, patients are routinely at the dialysis unit for 5 hours on each day of treatment they receive.

This does not account for the time the patient also has to spend waiting for transport to arrive for them to take them to and from their dialysis treatment, along with the time the patients actually have to spend on the vehicle transporting them.

Sadly many patients on haemodialysis will need this treatment for the rest of their lives. They will have to make 312 journeys each year to and from the dialysis unit. When you take into account that around 50% of the total of non-emergency transport in the United Kingdom is for journeys to and from dialysis, this adequately shows why this report into patient transport for dialysis patients has been so badly needed.

As many of us in the renal community already know, patient transport is one of the most important issues affecting a haemodialysis patient’s quality of life. It has also for many years often been the biggest compliant from renal patients about the care they receive from the NHS.

This is why this report has been so vitally needed for some time.

We would encourage all Kidney Patient Asssociations to be aware of this important report, and bring it to the attention of their respective renal teams where appropriate.

Download the report