Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Ode to home dialysis

The NHS Kidney Care home dialysis roadshows came to an end yesterday in London. They have been great fun – every network and area now seems energised. At each event the patient stories were the most compelling reason to look at how we offer choice and consider how we might extend home therapies to all those who want it and are suitable. Paul Connelly who spoke at the London workshop bemoaned the fact that when he started dialysis there was no kidney service at all in Surrey, making St Helier a long 33 miles away for 3 times per week dialysis. When the unit opened in Woking it was just round the corner and Paul describes the provision of local dialysis as changing his life. But he heard about home dialysis from another patient and he knew for him the block might be needling. Having set himself the task of self needling he won that battle and told us at the meeting that he cried the first time he put his needles in because he knew what that meant. He now feels brilliant; he feels that he has his life back and, as Paul says, “you can’t buy that”. Paul is now established on home haemodialysis and manages his treatment with the St Helier team.

On the same day, the East Midlands Renal Network Annual Report for 2009/10 arrived on my desk. It’s a good read, it’s an ambitious statement and it includes this fabulous poem.

Ode to Home Dialysis
Now we have a further stage
Home dialysis, it’s all the rage
No more hassle in making our way
Driving through town at the wrong time of day
Transport’s not a problem any more
We just walk through the conservatory door
Much more convenient you realise
To choose your own time to dialyse
It’s quieter too, much more calm
Even if we have a machine alarm
Yes it’s still a bit of a bind
But at “home” I can quickly unwind
I can look down the garden or watch TV
Read a book, listen to the radio, or play a DVD
I control the volume of these soundings
And I am much more comfortable in these surroundings
I have more choice as you can see
About the way that dialysis affects me
Be assured the backup service is very efficient
Just a phone call for help is usually sufficient
We have Paula, Wendy and technicians too
With supplies provided for all that we do
For three years now to our surprise
Home is very much the best place to DIALYSE
NA & B Bacon, 22 April 2010