A home away from home
Barts Charity has awarded funding of £3.8 million to establish a modern, “home away from home” environment for kidney patients who are unable to benefit from the home dialysis programme. The ‘Renal Independent Therapies and Young Adult Centre’ will be based at the Mile End Hospital (part of Barts Health NHS Trust) and is set to open towards the end of next year.
Home dialysis is the preferred method of treatment so this innovative model of self-care will help patients experience the benefits of home dialysis. People with end-stage kidney disease require dialysis for the rest of their lives. The centre aims to provide treatment in a way that supports patients’ quality of life and long-term survival.
Flexibility during treatment
The centre will have dedicated training areas for both haemo and peritoneal dialysis training, as well as a separate area for young adult patients and will offer therapy services to support young adults as they transition from paediatric to adult services.
Unlike in-hospital dialysis, the centre allows patients the flexibility to schedule their treatment at their convenience and provide the opportunity for overnight dialysis treatment, which has proven better outcomes for patients. The centre will also expand training for home therapies and increase participation in clinical trials and research.
Developing a model of self-care
Less than 30 percent of housing in North East London meets the suitability requirements for in-home dialysis treatment. Most of Barts Health’s 1200 kidney patients are treated in hospital, which is often very tiring and inflexible. There is also a gap in transitional care for young adults moving to adult care. Without adequate support, they can experience a high level of disengagement and anxiety, resulting in life-long challenges on managing a chronic illness.
The centre will be co-designed with patients to deliver care most appropriate to their needs. Dr Ravi Rajakariar, Clinical Director for renal at Barts Health, said: “This is an exciting opportunity to improve the experience of our dialysis patients and develop an innovative model of self-care, as well as a unit designed by our young adults.”
Beneficial mentally and physically
Brian Gracey, chair of The Patient Forum, added: “Providing both self-care and home dialysis training to a significant number of renal patients will benefit not only their mental well-being and their long-term health, but it will also benefit their overall experience of living with a terminal condition. I speak from personal experience, having dialysed at home myself for over a year.”
Fiona Miller Smith, Barts Charity CEO, added: “We are delighted to fund this important new initiative which will significantly enhance the quality of life for so many chronically ill patients in East London. We are also excited about the prospect of improving the care young dialysis patients receive which will allow them to live more independently.”