More about the Exeter Kidney Unit


Since it was set up in 1967, the Exeter Kidney Unit has developed various programmes of care to meet the needs of our patients. This includes acute inpatient services, in centre haemodialysis, transplantation programmes, home therapies and a renal supportive care pathway.

More on what we do

The kidney unit was first founded in 1967 at Whipton Hospital under the leadership of Dr Harry Hall.

The unit relocated to its current position at the RD&E in 1984. Over the past 53 years, it has grown to become one of the largest kidney units in the South West, taking referrals from North Devon District Hospital, Torbay Hospital and Musgrove Park Hospital, Taunton.

Kidney doctors, called nephrologists, are based at the unit. Other nephrologists visit the unit from different hospitals in the region.

Our main site is in Exeter. We also have six satellite units, which are either managed by the RD&E or a specialist private company in collaboration with the RD&E. These sites are currently based at Wonford and Heavitree Exeter, Honiton and South Devon and North Devon and Taunton.

We also look after people in the community. Some of our community patients have had a kidney transplant, others are undergoing treatment for kidney disease, such as dialysis. 

In addition to this, there are a proportion of patients across our area who have chosen not to have a renal replacement therapy. These patients are supported by our specialists teams, who work closely with local GPs and other healthcare providers.

Our service includes (for more information click on the name of the service): 

Our team

Senior Leadership Team:

  • Dr Lucy Smyth - Consultant Nephrologist and Lead Clinician for Renal Services
  • Michaela Dicks - Senior Matron for Renal Services
  • Roland Gulvin - Cluster Manager
  • Allie Wilson - Renal Service Support Manager

Our wider team includes:

  • 10 Consultant Nephrologists.
  • Over 150 Nursing staff.
  • Around 30 secretarial / administrative staff.
  • 3 Consultant renal interventional radiologists.
  • 3 Consultant Vascular access surgeons.
  • 9 Consultant Urologists.
  • 3 Consultant Renal Histopathologists. 

Where to find us

RD&E Wonford, Barrack Rd, Exeter EX2 5DW

Renal Unit

Contact us

If you want to contact the Exeter Kidney Unit, please call 01392 402530.


Specialist Clinics Include:

Renal Anaemia Clinic

Offering education and treatment for renal anaemia, with outreach clinics in Taunton, North Devon, Honiton and South Devon.

Low Clearance Clinics

People with category G4 CKD or an eGFR of <20ml/min/1.73m2 will be seen in this clinic by a doctor, nurse specialist or renal dietician depending on individual needs. The purpose of the clinic is to prepare each person and their family where possible, for renal replacement therapy.

Home therapy clinics

These are specialist peritoneal dialysis and haemodialysis clinics which are doctor, nurse or multi-disciplinary led.

Late-presenter clinic

For rapid review of patients starting dialysis unexpectedly under the guidance of a nephrologist and nurse specialist.

Joint Vasculitis Clinic

In collaboration with the the RD&E's rheumatologists.

One-stop Vascular and peritoneal dialysis access assessment Clinics

Run by either a nurse specialist or a surgeon and nurse specialist.

Transplantation clinics 

These multi-disciplinary clinics are held every Monday and Thursday at the RD&E.

Paediatric / Young Adult Transition Clinic

Clinics involving a paediatrician, nephrologist and young adult nurse specialist. These are held in Exeter, North Devon and Taunton hospital.

Chronic kidney disease nurse-led clinics

Nurse specialist-led clinics held in either a community hospital or GP practice for those patients who have CKD categories G3-G5 CKD and who do not require a face to face consultation with a Nephrologist.

Renal/Clinical Genetics Clinic

The renal genetics clinic is a specialist clinic run by Dr Charles Shaw-Smith (consultant in clinical genetics) and Dr Coralie Bingham (consultant in renal medicine). The clinic takes referrals from across Devon and Cornwall. It aims to provide a diagnosis in cases of familial renal disease including the use of genetic testing, where appropriate. Screening of adult family members can be discussed and arranged in families with an established genetic diagnosis. The clinic is supported by specialist genetic nurse counsellors.

The nephrologists also offer an advice and guidance service to local GPs via email.

All of these clinics on average review and manage approximately 4,000 patients each year.

Our renal unit also review on average 100-120 patients per year who have been transferred with an acute kidney injury for specialist care.


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