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Monday 21 June 2021
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Renal Unit entrance
The entrance to our Renal Unit in the Hope Building

World Kidney Day: The start of something great for the Salford Royal kidney community

As you can imagine, World Kidney Day is an important day in the renal world. It is an opportunity to raise awareness of key issues around kidney health and conditions. This year we are having a ‘big one’ with stalls and activities throughout the Hope building. However, behind the scenes exciting things have also been happening to build on great work that the department has commenced in the past – and World Kidney Day represents an almost symbolic start to this.

My name is Rob Ward, and during my 4 months in the renal department as the Quality Improvement Facilitator, I have met many passionate and enthusiastic individuals. Working with patients, patient groups, clinicians, admin, and charities, I have been able to see and hear about great work that has happened or is happening within the department. So let me give you a roundup of what’s going on.


Janet Cairnie is leading on the successful complementary therapy programme that has now delivered over 400 treatments to our dialysis patients at Salford, Wigan, Bolton and Oldham dialysis units – with ambitions to expand it to Rochdale and the recruitment of more volunteer therapists. In her blog, Janet discusses the benefit of the programme to patients’ experiences of dialysis and how it can improve their wellbeing.


Alongside this, developing how we communicate has been an important focus of my role. On World Kidney Day you will see blogs, articles, and videos from patients and staff being shared through the new Salford Royal Renal Department Facebook page. The new page will allow us to share these stories as well as news, information, and volunteer opportunities with patients and their families in a more convenient and effective way.


There is also ongoing work to set-up a peer support programme for kidney patients at Salford, Bolton, Oldham, Rochdale, and Wigan dialysis units. Peer support can be a powerful means of patients (and their families) supporting each other with their diagnosis or treatment. Jane Ascott, a seasoned dialysis nurse of over 18 years, is leading on the set-up of the programme; she blogs about what’s involved in peer support. Also, watch our video with Eleri Wood, a peer support nurse from King’s College Hospital, who answers questions on what peer support is and its benefits.


Shared care is another exciting programme we will be reinvigorating and expanding to help patients get more involved in their dialysis care, offering them the opportunity to develop skills and confidence in the process. Watch our video to learn more about shared care at Salford Royal. You can also read a blog from Daniel, one of our fantastic patient volunteers, who recruits and trains patients to get involved in shared care.


Building on previous dialysis-related patient experience work, where units delivered all kinds of exciting thing such as barge trips, theatre trips, culture days and bingo/quizzes on dialysis – we will be building a network of volunteers to make dialysis less boring and a more engaging/supportive environment.


And finally, exercise for kidney patients will be another project that will have a real impact on the health and wellbeing of patients. Currently, we have a PEDAL trial ongoing in the department which is exploring the cardio benefits to patients with stage 5 kidney disease. As part of the project, patients participate in cycling exercises whilst on dialysis. However, these benefits are not just physical as Garry, one of the PEDAL physios, describes:


“What we have found is the positive impact on not just the physical but, emotional aspects of the dialysing patients [...] we have had patients go back to walking, swimming and the one that pleased me the most, spending more quality time with their family and friends!”


Following the conclusion of this study later this year, we hope to build a programme, delivered by volunteers, that makes exercise easier for kidney patients. You can read more about the PEDAL trial here. Please take a few minutes to come and see our ‘Kidney Health Ambassadors’ and take part in our exercise challenge in the Hope building on World Kidney Day.


The principles that drive all of these work streams and projects are ones that put kidney patients at the heart of them. From partnering with patients, families and supporters (such as our fantastic colleagues in Hope KPA, BKPA and GMKIN) to expanding our conversations to talk more about goodhealth and wellbeing, we can produce better patient experiences together.


As a final note, I want to say a huge thank you to everyone who I have worked with over the last few months to help me learn and progress in my new role. It has been a great experience so far to be working towards making a real positive impact on the experience of patients and their relatives across the Salford Royal kidney community.


We hope you enjoy all the events that have been put on for World Kidney Day 2017. Please explore our articles, videos, and stories today and over the coming weeks and months by liking our Facebook page!