I have previously recounted the analogy Guy Hill once used to compare the stress and strains of transport to and from dialysis, 6 journeys a week(!), with the anxiety many of us feel on the way to the airport for holiday when we are rushed or late! For hospital or satellite based haemodialysis patients the arrangements and quality of transport are part of the experience of care; in many instances transport has a high impact on quality of life, even clinical outcomes.
How is your unit doing? Have a look. Overall, there hasn’t been a massive change between 2008 and 2010 but there has been a lot more change between units than you would see, for instance, in the premier league. Have a look at what your unit is good at. Have a look at what you might improve. Perhaps there is a unit in your network that does better – find out why.
These unit level results are now a valuable resource for individual Trust Boards, kidney care teams, kidney patient associations, commissioners and networks to use to set goals for the coming year(s). There is some excellent practice across the country such as the Southend transport redesign project, featured on NHS Evidence and the integrated Northern Ireland approach reported at the recent British Renal Society/Renal Association joint conference.
Improving transport for haemodialysis can significantly improve the quality of life for people receiving hospital based haemodialysis, it can save millions of pounds for the NHS and could reduce the carbon footprint by up to 10 million miles per year.