Published on: 17 April 2019

Around 170 kidney patients from South Tyneside and Sunderland were invited to a special event to find out more about the services and support available to them from South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust.

The education day, held at the George Washington Hotel in Washington, was led by the Renal Medicine team based at Sunderland Royal Hospital.

Among the speakers were three ‘expert patients’ – kidney donor Dr Roger Pierce, kidney and pancreas recipient and motivational speaker Mark Smith and transplant recipient and Kidney Patient Information Network lead Andy Henwood.

Doctors, including Renal Clinical Lead Dr Saeed Ahmed, and nurses, who work in the main renal unit at Sunderland Royal and in its satellite units at Durham Treatment Centre and Washington Primary Care Centre, also gave talks and met the patients. In addition, Kidney Care UK and the North East Kidney Patients Association were represented.

Dr Ahmed said: “We have never held an education day of this size before and we were very excited about the potential for helping our patients who are in the pre-dialysis stage, on dialysis either at home or in hospital, or in need of a transplant. We wanted to give them information about the services in our renal department and the chance to meet staff and ask questions. Our aim was for them to feel secure in the knowledge that when the time comes and they need dialysis or a transplant then they are not alone because we have the right services for them and there is support which they can access. Hearing from people who have experienced what they are going through also, hopefully, reassured them.”

Dialysis Manager Laura Thompson, who organised the event, said: “The feedback from our patients was extremely positive and I’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone who contributed to a hugely successful day. We had great representation from staff, including our nurses who do such a fantastic job, and we couldn’t have done it without all of their support.”   

The event was sponsored by Kidney Care UK, as well as medical companies NxSTAGE, Fresenius and Baxter.