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Devon kidney patients invited to find out more about the exciting potential of home dialysis therapies and transportable dialysis machines


Kidney specialists at the Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital are putting on a series of public information events around Devon and Somerset about home dialysis treatments and the opportunities this can present for patients, including the ability to travel.

The events are being held in July in Torbay, Honiton, Barnstaple, Taunton and Exeter. Kidney patients, family members, carers and clinicians are invited to come along and meet the RD&E’s renal community team and current patients, including one person dialysing themself in a camper van with the transportable haemodialysis machine.

This will be an opportunity to find out more about the home therapy options for patients, including peritoneal dialysis and home haemodialysis, both of which offer the potential to travel. The events will demonstrate how home dialysis machines can be easily installed at home or even taken on holiday or in a camper van-style vehicle – freeing-up dialysis patients from the burden of time-consuming hospital visits and allowing them to win back more control over their lives following the trauma of kidney failure.

Unless these patients have had a successful kidney transplant, most patients with kidney failure require dialysis for the rest of their lives. Predominately this is done in a hospital setting and involves three visits a week, usually lasting between four and five hours (not including travel time to and from the hospital). Such a regime can restrict a patient’s family, social life and professional life and also leads to higher costs for the NHS overall.
Evidence suggests that more frequent dialysis can lead not only to a range of clinical and well-being benefits but also greater quality of life because patients have flexability and don’t have to spend so much time and effort coming into hospital.

At present the RD&E has a well-established peritoneal dialysis programme and a small but growing number of patients on home haemodialysis. The renal community team wants to continue to increase this number to help transform the lives of more kidney patients in Devon and Somerset. The patient is trained to carry out their own treatment at home, giving them more power and control. Close consultant and nurse telephone support, as well as technical support for any equipment issues remains in place throughout.

Patients and staff wanting to find out more can come to one of five events (refreshments provided):

David Dobbs, Home Haemodialysis Nurse, said: “Our home haemodialysis programme offers real potential to improve the lives of our kidney patients. Home haemodialysis requires motivation and commitment from patients and their carers and it may not be suitable for all. However, there is overwhelming evidence to suggest that more frequent dialysis has significant clinical benefits.

“Perhaps the most exciting benefit is the potential improvement in quality of life. Kidney patients who are on long-term haemodialysis face a huge burden, with many long hospital visits, and all the logistical and emotional stress these can create despite our efforts to make them comfortable, but dialysis in a home, even holiday location offer more positive alternatives and the chance to regain some control over their illness.”

Ed Cornish, Peritoneal dialysis Nurse, said “Home dialysis offers patients the choice to remain in their own home to perform their own dialysis therapy, promoting independence, greater control of their own health needs and a better quality of life free from frequent hospital visits”

Kate Cresswell, Patient Support and Advocacy Officer at Kidney Care UK, said: “We believe that people with kidney failure should be able to choose the dialysis treatment that suits them. Whilst home therapies won’t work for everyone, research shows that only a quarter of the patients who could receive and benefit from home dialysis are currently receiving this treatment. Events like these with the Royal Devon and Exeter Foundation Trust are so important and are a great opportunity to learn more about home therapies, giving patients an opportunity to explore all the treatment options available to them, with experts who will be on hand to provide support and advice.”


For further information, please contact the Community Renal Team on 01392 402537.


Added 10 July 2017

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