Satellite unit cuts journey time for dialysis patients

A Birmingham hospital trust is expanding its kidney dialysis service by commissioning a tenth satellite unit – its first outside England.

University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust is to provide a chronic haemodialysis facility at a hospital in Powys, mid-Wales.

Photo: Satellite unit cuts journey time for dialysis patients

The new unit, due to become operational by April 2012, will house sufficient dialysis machines to treat up to 16 patients, although this could be increased to 24 patients if the demand arises.

It will be supported by the local GP practice which will be providing medical supervision for the new facility with support from Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham.

UHB currently commissions nine satellite dialysis units across Birmingham, Sandwell, and Hereford and Worcestershire, starting in 1994 with facilities in Aston Cross and Tipton.

The latest facility, to be provided within Llandrindod Wells Memorial Hospital, will prevent the need for Powys residents to travel to Hereford for treatment. UHB was commissioned to open the Hereford dialysis unit in 2001.

Kevin Bolger, UHB’s Chief Operating Officer, said the Trust currently provides renal replacement therapy for an area that includes a population of 50,000 people in Powys.

Patients living in Powys have previously travelled to Hereford for treatment, but Mr Bolger added: “Hereford satellite unit is currently at maximum capacity and to manage the current demand some patients living within this catchment area are travelling to Kidderminster and Worcester to receive haemodialysis.”

UHB currently provides more than 220 dialysis stations across its nine satellite units, which also include Kings Norton, Woodgate and Sparkhill.

The new Powys unit will be built using funds secured from the Welsh Government.

Brendan Lloyd, Medical Director of Powys Teaching Health Board, which has worked with UHB and the Welsh Government to develop the new facility, said: “By establishing a dialysis unit here in Llandrindod Wells, we are helping to improve the lives of our residents.

“Kidney dialysis not only affects the patient but also friends and family around them. This unit will mean that fewer patients have to make the long journey to centres outside of Powys and will help to make the process less stressful and uncomfortable.”


Picture: Fresenius

09.11.2011

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