The second home dialysis meeting in Manchester at the beginning of October was a fabulous meeting. The delegates had a lot of energy and I was pleased to hear of the progress that individual teams have made over the past 12 months in addressing some of the barriers to achieving dialysis at home by both haemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis. Over 250 people attended. Many units had representation from across the multi-professional team and I was encouraged to see patients attending, participating and challenging – that’s really healthy. The only group rather thin on the ground were renal Specialist Registrars but I am sure that teams will be encouraging their trainees to attend the next home dialysis meeting.
NHS Kidney Care took the opportunity of the conference to launch the peritoneal dialysis specification which is based on a patient centred pathway following the patient from renal failure to dialysis and covering 5 sections each with measurable quality outcomes that commissioners, providers and patients can use to benchmark and drive forward service improvements. I am grateful to Dr Lindsey Barker (Consultant Physician and Clinical Director Medicine, Royal Berkshire), Mario Varela (Director of Procurement & eCommerce, Barts) and the other clinicians, patients, commissioners and managers who helped draw up the national specification.
The specification should be used by patients and commissioners as a guide to services they should be able to access; by providers to offer patients genuine modality choice; by procurement departments to gain high quality, cost effective services and supplies. I am hopeful that it will help in the effort to increase real choice, including assisted peritoneal dialysis for people to have home therapies when they want.