More patients choosing home dialysis

A team of renal consultants and specialist nurses at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust has helped to increase the uptake of home dialysis by kidney patients through a dedicated home dialysis education clinic and training programme.

Each month Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust runs a specialist clinic at Hammersmith Hospital and the Trust’s satellite renal unit at Northwick Park Hospital, to give patients and carers the chance to learn more about home dialysis therapy and what it involves. Patients are also given the opportunity, under close supervision, to have a go at using the equipment and running their own dialysis in a supportive, educational environment. It is also a forum in which expert patients can swap top tips and give advice about managing dialysis at home.

Unlike patients using a hospital or at a satellite centre, home dialysis patients are able to schedule their own treatment rather than keeping to an appointment at the dialysis unit. Evidence suggests that patients using home dialysis have a better quality of life and benefit from being more closely involved with their own treatment.

Other benefits of home dialysis include:

  • Greater independence and flexibility over dialysis times

  • A more active role in controlling one’s own care

  • Less travelling to the dialysis unit

  • More time spent at home

Paula Aubrey, General Manager for Renal Services, said:

“It can feel like a big step to leave the dialysis unit and take on therapy at home. But though our dedicated education and training programme we have helped more patients and carers to build-up the confidence they need to take control of their dialysis and improve their quality of life.

“We are working hard to expand further the number of patients taking up home dialysis.”

The Trust has the largest kidney service in Europe currently treating over 1400 dialysis patients, of which 100 are receiving peritoneal and haemodialysis at home. A full training programme is offered to those who wish to take up the opportunity of home therapy. Once training is completed the first few home dialysis sessions will be supervised by a specialist nurse who will gradually step back as the patient becomes more confident with therapy at home.

For more information about dialysis services at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust please visit our website

Notes to editors

  1. Dialysis removes waste products and excess fluid from patients with kidney failure. There are two types of dialysis either through a haemodialysis machine or a peritoneal dialysis machine / bag. Haemodialysis can be performed in centre at the hospital or at home which is usually required three days a week for a period of three to four hours. For patients having their treatment in hospital or at a satellite centre, this means attending every other day at a set time for treatment. Peritoneal dialysis is primarily a daily home based treatment.

  2. The National Institute for Healthcare and Clinical Excellence (NICE) recommends that home dialysis therapies both peritoneal and haemodialysis is made available for all suitable patients.