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 6 senior members of staff are observer members of the LAKPA committee. We are most grateful to him and his team for their invaluable support. Further information on renal services in our area can be found at https://www.enherts-tr.nhs.uk/services/renal-medicine.
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 5 dialysis units. We currently have liaison persons for 4 units and are looking for someone to undertake this role at the Harlow unit. Patients are encouraged to raise issues with their liaison persons who can then raise them at our LAKPA committee meetings which are held 6 times a year on the second Tuesday of alternate months.
Further contact details can be found on our Contacts Page.
Clinical Update January 2021
As a trust we are now gearing up to roll out vaccinations to our in-centre haemodialysis patients as the highest risk group of renal patients over the next 2-3 weeks. Already renal patients over the age of 80 have been offered and had vaccinations as part of the national program. Unless specifically advised against, all kidney disease patients should receive whichever type of Covid-19 vaccination (Pfizer or Astra-Zeneca) that is offered. There are no particular risks from vaccination because you have kidney disease. Please note that, even after you have had the vaccine, it is very important to continue hand washing/wearing a mask/social distancing.
For further information on the vaccine please see the government guidance.
Renal activity is high and we are at full capacity to deliver services, without reduction but renal transplantation has been suspended currently in most regions. Face to face reviews are happening at Hertford County and St Albans City hospital as Non-COVID hospital sites. Non-essential outpatient activities are being reduced, but urgent outpatient activity will continue.
Please refer to the following links for specific advice on :
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 Psychology and Counselling Service
This is available to all people with kidney disease 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 psychologist 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.
Renal Peer support Service
This 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.
Renal Nutrition and Dietetic Service
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 dietitians 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 Dietitians 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.
If you want ideas when cooking for kidney patients do look at the free recipe book by chef Lawrence Keogh, himself a kidney patient which can be found at Free Kidney Care Cookbook.
There are a number of charities that support kidney patients and are a valuable source of information
The National Kidney Federation, of which our chairman, 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 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 – life-threatening inherited conditions that can cause renal (kidney) failure and affect other organs in the body. We support 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.
Organ donation law in England has changed. Read about how these changes affect you, and let others know too – https://www.organdonation.nhs.uk.