Friday, 4 April 2008

Your chance to shape your future ….

This has been a busy week! It is always encouraging when seeds that have been sown many months ago begin to start to bear fruit. There are three key issues that I think may be of interest to you and that give you opportunities to influence the future of kidney care;

Development of the National Diabetes and Kidney Support Team (NDKST)
The Office of the SHAs has this week given approval for the transformation of the National Diabetes Support Team to become the National Diabetes and Kidney Support Team (NDKST). This is more than just a name change. It is an opportunity for us to create a structure of support mechanisms to implement kidney care improvement across England. An important part of us developing the central functions and local kidney care interface of the NDKST is taking the time and opportunity to listen to the views and aspirations of all of the kidney community; children and adults, patients and families, primary care and commissioners, specialised multidisciplinary teams managing advanced CKD as well as secondary and tertiary services involved in the management of Acute Kidney Injury

I am delighted that Bev Matthews, Manager of the West Midlands Renal Network, has agreed to a secondment to the Renal Policy Team at the Department of Health to help shape the concept and vision of what the future NDKST structure will look like.

We would welcome your contribution – please get involved by reading more about the NDKST at the end of this blog and sharing your thoughts on the key issues.

Vascular Risk Assessment
On Tuesday morning the Government announced plans for the NHS to introduce a systematic and integrated programme of vascular risk assessment and management for those aged between 40 and 74. It released a document which explains in more depth what vascular disease is, why undertaking risk assessment and management is important, and how these checks might be performed throughout England.

It calls for stakeholders to work with the Department of Health to help develop the approach to implementation and delivery over the next few months and in due course you will hear more detail about the ways in which you can engage in this work.

More details on the announcement and publication can be found on the DH website

Appointment of a National Clinical Director for Transplantation
I am delighted to see Chris Rudge appointed as NCD for Transplantation. It is an important time for the transplant community to have this leadership role within the Department of Health to implement the recommendations of the Organ Donor Taskforce. The renal and transplant policy teams will continue working together as a team to ensure all kidneys donated are transplanted into the most suitable recipients.

National Diabetes and Kidney Support Team (NDKST)
The publication of the Renal NSF in 2004 focused our hearts and minds on meeting the Standards (Part 1) and Quality Requirements (Part 2) with limited resources in comparison to Cardiac and Cancer services for example.

There have been patches of commitment to innovation and improvement, such as the West Midlands Renal Network and the Guys and Thomas’ Modernisation Initiative where local investment has enabled health economies to maintain a kidney care focus. With this in mind I have been exploring opportunities for generating a resource for Kidney Care to develop, and enhance, structures for improving kidney care across England.

The 2007 Hosted Bodies Review now gives us that opportunity. The former National Diabetes Support Team has now been devolved and the creation of the National Diabetes and Kidney Support Team (NDKST) provides us with the exciting prospect of moving Kidney Care into the 21nd Century.

It is clear that there will need to be some central functions of the NDKST around Knowledge Management and Communications and you may already know that we are keen to listen to your thoughts and experiences to help define the local interface the NDKST will develop.

The key areas that we are looking for feedback are:

  • How would a kidney care structure interface with your organisation and community?
  • What lessons can be learnt from implementation of local structures that you have been involved in establishing?
  • What will be the key priorities?
  • Were/are there any barriers and if so what strategies were/are required to working around or overcome these?
  • How can wide multidisciplinary team engagement be ensured?

Your views and experiences are key to ensuring the success of the NDKST and I would encourage you to contribute. You can:

  1. email Bev direct on or
  2. invite Bev and myself to any local meeting that you feel would give us insight to inform our vision for the future.

This listening exercise will be completed by early summer and I look forward to sharing with you the aims and objectives in June 2008, giving you a clear timeframe for implementation.