Health and Wellbeing
Getting Help and Support
LAKPA maintains excellent relations with staff across the renal services and values the support we receive from them. The Clinical Director for Renal Services at the Trust, Dr Praveen Jeevaratnam regularly attends our meetings and six senior members of staff are observer members of the LAKPA committee. We are most grateful to him and his team for their invaluable support.
LAKPA covers a wide geographical area and we have established a very important role for local patients to act as LAKPA liaison for each of the five dialysis units.
Patients are encouraged to raise issues with their liaison persons who can then raise them at our LAKPA committee meetings which are held six times a year on the second Tuesday of alternate months.
Further information on renal services in our area can be found at https://www.enherts-tr.nhs.uk/services/renal-medicine and further contact details can be found on our Contacts Page.
Renal Support Services
Renal Social Work Service
This is available to all renal patients, including young adults and carers/relatives.
It can give support on a range of personal, emotional and practical matters. This includes advice on finances, housing, social care, aids and equipment, practical help at home, as well as work and legal issues and advice for carers.
The service also supports patients who have chosen not to have a dialysis treatment, those who are not tolerating dialysis well or who have decided to stop having dialysis. In this situation you will be reviewed on a monthly basis by one of the social workers who will also link you with community health teams for additional support, as well as providing support for relatives/carers.
The team also includes a Benefits Adviser to help you identify the benefits you might be entitled to, as well as offering help in filling out the forms and submitting appeals if required.
Renal Psychological Service
This is available to all renal patients and their carers. The kidney team recognises that having kidney disease can bring about a number of feelings that can be difficult to cope with at times and sometimes hard to discuss with loved ones. The psychotherapist and counsellor are able to offer support to help you to find ways to deal with these feelings and thoughts.
Individuals have used the service for various reasons including relationship difficulties, adjusting to life on dialysis, phobias, withdrawing from treatment, and bereavement support. These are just a few examples.
You can contact the team on 01438 284957 or email@example.com
Renal Peer Support Service
The peer support service is designed to give an opportunity for people receiving care from the kidney team and their carers – particularly those who are newly diagnosed – to talk with an experienced patient on a one to one basis over the telephone. A peer supporter is not there to offer medical advice on treatment; they only share what it was like for them. The service is usually a one off call around an area that is relevant to you.
You can contact the team on 01438 284957 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Alternatively you can ask one of the doctors or nurses to refer you.
Good nutrition is important for all kidney patients at every stage of kidney disease from helping to prevent the progression of kidney disease, managing end stage kidney disease (on dialysis) through to maintaining a post-transplant healthy diet. Finding trustworthy and easy to follow dietary advice can be difficult and confusing.
Renal dieticians are qualified to assess, diagnose and advise on diet and nutritional problems, allowing for personal preferences and priorities, enabling & helping you to enjoy your food.
Renal Dieticians specialise in the nutritional needs of people with acute (sudden onset) and chronic (long-term) kidney disease, taking into account other conditions you may have, such as diabetes, to help improve and maintain a healthy diet and weight.
- Cooking ideas for kidney patients – take a look at the Diet and Food page on the National Kidney Federation website. They have some great ideas.
- Tips on following a low potassium and low phosphate (phosphorus) diet – your dietician may advise you to limit the amount of potassium and phosphate in your diet.
You can contact the team on 01438 285533 or email@example.com
Some other great sources of support for kidney patients
The National Kidney Federation, of which our chair, Kirit Modi, is the honorary president, was founded 1978, and is a national kidney charity in the United Kingdom run by patients with kidney problems and their carers, for kidney patients. The NKF runs a free national helpline (0800 169 09 36) and a website, and organises an annual conference – https://www.kidney.org.uk.
Kidney Care UK are the UK’s leading patient support charity, providing practical, financial and emotional support for kidney patients and their families, and campaigning to improve care services across the UK – https://www.kidneycareuk.org.
PKD Charity Polycystic Kidney Disease or PKD is a life-threatening inherited conditions that can cause renal (kidney) failure and affect other organs in the body. The PKD charity supports those affected, their families and carers – https://www.pkdcharity.org.uk.
The Renal Association is the leading professional body for the UK renal community, dedicated to improving lives by supporting professionals in the delivery of kidney care and research – https://renal.org.