All the responses are now in from the National Patient Survey that took place on 15 and 16 October 2008 and I’m really pleased to hear that two thirds of all haemodialysis patients in England, Wales and Northern Ireland took part. The survey is part of the new National Kidney Care Audit, which is being run by The NHS Information Centre (IC). The audit will also look at aspects of vascular access, which will be collected from renal units themselves.
I’m glad that patients have really responded to the survey, because I think it will be an important tool for delivering better patient transport services. There was an over 90 per cent response rate in 67 of the 252 units that took part, which is great.
Separate surveys were also sent to renal unit managers and commissioners of renal services, of whom 81 per cent and 89 per cent responded respectively – an impressive figure that reinforces the commitment that people have to improving services.
The NHS IC are now analysing the survey data, and they are planning to release an interim set of results to renal units in January 2009. The full results will be published in April.
Once the interim results are published, I want to see people turning their attention to action planning because I don’t think any units will be providing the service people receiving haemodialysis need . All renal units should be thinking about how they can use the results of the audit to improve services – who is doing that in your Kidney unit? This could involve setting up action planning groups and working with patients, to learn from what works best in other areas, and see whether it can be applied locally. I know The NHS IC are developing an online resource to give practical support for action planning, and I will let you know here when this is available.
In the meantime, I am really pleased to see the progress that the National Kidney Care Audit is making, and look forward to seeing the results.