Renal Supportive Care
Supportive care covers many aspects of the holistic care given to people who are admitted to Creedy Ward or those who become reliant on dialysis to maintain life.
For the most part, supportive care involves recognising patients who are likely to be in the last year of their life. Patients may be identified from Creedy Ward or any of the satellite kidney units in North Devon, South Devon, East Devon, Heavitree and Taunton.
The aim is to discuss wishes and preferences, known as Advance Care Planning. This is to enable the patient, their families and loved ones and those who provide care, to prepare for the dying process and death in a dignified manner and according to the dying person’s wishes. It is also an important discussion for those responsible for making decisions regarding care, where their family member or loved one could potentially lose capacity to make their own decisions.
There is an electronic register where many aspects of the Advance Care Planning decisions are recorded which is then available to health care professionals such as Out of Hours Doctors, the ambulance service, GPs, Community nurses as well as the acute hospital clinical teams. This allows the wishes and preferences to be known without trying to hold further, sometimes difficult, conversations. In Devon we use the ADASTRA register.
More on what we do
Supportive Care also includes the facilitation of palliative discharges. This includes completing an application for funding to enable a successful discharge when a patient would like to receive end of life care in their own home or a nursing home closer to their family and friends. The application is made to the Continuing Health Care Fast Track Team.
Part of the discharge involves a referral made to the appropriate community hospice team to provide support regarding symptom control as well as psychological, emotional, social and spiritual matters. As the Royal Devon and Exeter Renal Unit has a significant catchment area, there are various hospices to which referrals are made.
Some of our patients prefer to stay on Creedy Ward for end of life care as they have built up a strong relationship over the, sometimes many, years with the multidisciplinary team. They feel safe and that they are amongst friends. In this instance we provide care and support not only to the patient but to their family and loved ones too.
In fact, Creedy Ward has received an award for demonstrating the excellence of care given. We have achieved the Gold Standards Framework Accreditation, a nationally recognised Quality Hallmark Award.
The Supportive Care Nurse role also includes providing information to Primary Care teams. Renal patients require different drugs at end of life than non-renal patients. Sometimes Primary Care teams are unfamiliar with these drugs so support is given with prescribing as required.
Renal Supportive Care Nurse – Vivienne Taylor
Renal Supportive Care Nurse – Vivienne Taylor
Telephone: 01392 404793
Working hours: Monday to Friday, 9am - 5pm.
The Exeter Kidney Unit has a Psychologist who works two days a week and we have connections with Talk Works. Both can help patients deal with emotional difficulties that go hand in hand with long term health conditions. We also have a very active Kidney Patients Association (KPA) who are always willing to help were they can.
Exeter District Kidney Patients Association (EDKPA)
The aim of the EDKPA is to provide relief for patients who are suffering from disease or illness affecting the kidneys, especially for patients receiving treatment under the Exeter Kidney Unit. This includes:
- Provide welfare for kidney patients being treated at the RD&E, whether they are recently diagnosed, being treated for renal failure, on dialysis or transplanted.
- Assist with grants to patients in need.
- Arrange weekends away for patients and carers.
- Assist with costs and travel for these weekends.
- Pantomime coach trip for patients and carers each year.
- Provide a dedicated service through Citizens Advice Bureau to assist patients claiming benefits and any other problems.
- Distribute a newsletter to keep patients informed of any trips, items of interest, etc.
- AGM each year to invite new patients and have committee interaction.
- Website for patients’ information and direction to items of interest.
- Supply of TV’s on dialysis units and renal ward to entertain patients whilst undergoing treatment.
- Assist with funding of Transplant team at British Transplant Games and World Transplant games if team members selected.
- Financially support the Renal Young Adult Nurse.
For more information on how to access support for the EKPA or become an active member please contact:
Jean Aplin 13 Crowden Crescent, Tiverton, Devon, EX16 4ET.
Telephone: 01884 254260
Further general information
Care Direct (provides information regarding health and social care for adults) - Telephone: 0345 1551 007.