Wednesday, 27 June 2007

Welcome to my first blog!

Welcome to my first blog. I will be using this to keep a diary of events and update on projects, events and concerns.

Sound House Media found me at Hope Hospital last week. you guessed it, it was a pre-arranged appointment! I was being interviewed by the "Living with Kidney Disease" DVD team who are making a follow-on DVD to "The Reality Check" which I hope you have all seen (if not, it is available from the Kidney Health Information line at Kidney Research UK: 0845 300 1499 or email), this was part of the second DVD module offering practical advice for patients with more advanced kidney disease. I am pleased to start off my blog with that example of some of the new things I am doing because empowering people with kidney disease is one of our greatest challenges. This was brought home to me last week when my son James had his appendix removed at a famous London teaching hospital. The direct care was excellent, the scar is only 1.5" long and James was discharged within 24 hours without a follow-up appointment - as that wouldn't add value. Excellent! But getting information early on a Friday afternoon was nigh on impossible - I was at the EDTA in Barcelona, my wife was supervising a school trip in France and James was frightened. It turned out to be a trivial event but, being on the other side of the table really does bring home to you the importance of good communication. One fantastic thing however was that James was allowed to keep and use his mobile phone - surely something we should promote on our wards and units.

Earlier in the month I had the pleasure of visiting Birmingham Childrens Hospital with Sheila Shribman, the Children's Tsarina. The challenges facing paedicatric nephrology are quite different in scale and detail to those in the adult world but the overarching themes of delivering a high quality, evidence based service are the same. Increasing organ donation, reducing vascular risk, providing a safe environment and recognising there is a lot more to growing up and life than kidney disease are some of the key goals - whatever age our patients are.
I was in Birmingham for the BRS meeting sharing the platform with David Colin-Thome, Primary Care Tsar so there are a lot senior people getting to know about kidney disease. We gave a joint presentation "Implementing the NSF, State of the Union". David has real stamina and has been at the DH for over 7 years - I think it is that sort of commitment that keeps him going to Goodison Park. I think he is a little wary of me as the "new boy" but perhaps more importantly I don't think he has forgiven me for Wayne Rooney signing at Old Trafford. Phil Neville went the other way but for one lapse, when we visited Goodison, it was the end of the season. David talked about system reform and I highlighted some areas where we need to make rapid progress.

The interim report of the Action Learning sets (AKI, Transitional Care and The Year Before) is available here for download as a PDF document. Although there isn't a great amount of detail, each of the groups is working hard and I know that pathways, protocols and reports back will be transferable to other areas and are at an advanced stage of planning.

Finally, what are YOU doing for Transplant Week?

Diane Sanders (right), heart & lungs recipient ( "this weekend we went walking in Devon. I stood on top of the cliffs enjoying the view and remembered my donor and her family with sadness and enormous gratitude".

David Mitchell, one of my colleagues on the Renal Advisory Group along with David Cooke (a patient with bilateral nephrectomy) and Ernesto Antonio (a nurse in Ipswich post heart transplant after viral myocarditis) are in training to take part in the London Triathlon in August 2007. Their chosen charity is Transplant Sport UK, an organisation dedicated to raising awareness of the need for organs. They also host the Transplant Games to show us all how transplantation can transform lives. You can support them by giving a donation at