Home haemodialysis 

Dialysis patient Heather describes home haemodialysis and how it's helped in controlling her condition. Includes information on how to qualify to use a dialysis machine at home.

Find out the advantages and disadvantages of dialysis

Transcript of Home haemodialysis

At her home in Marple near Stockport,

Heather Powell is preparing to undergo haemodialysis,

but she's able to do it by herself without travelling to hospital

and at a time she chooses.

The machine has to fit round us, we don't fit round the machine.

If we want to go and do something different,

say go to the theatre at night,

we would do our dialysis earlier or later.

As long as you get your dialysis in it doesn't really matter.

NICE has recommended that all patients who are suitable for home haemodialysis

should be offered the option. So NHS Kidney Care is supporting renal units

in how they can make this happen.

It was very easy, they arranged everything for me,

the room was done, I didn't have to worry about organising anything myself.

You're not put under any pressure, they're very supportive,

and the teaching is excellent.

- You check your fistula frequently? - I do.

Home haemodialysis is only considered after a full assessment is undertaken

of a patient's medical needs and their home and social circumstances.

And at Wythenshawe Hospital's Renal Unit they then take their time

to ensure patients and their carers receive the appropriate training.

The nurse to patient ratio is excellent

and that means that the team can give more time to patients.

In many situations that's all patients need,

so that we can develop their self-confidence and their skills.

They're very patient with you when they're training,

they let you go at your own pace.

So it's very relaxed. It's been great.

Home haemodialysis can give a patient much greater control

as well as a better understanding of their condition.

And the flexibility it offers

also allows the treatment to be tailored to individual needs.

Patients can do shorter or longer hours, during the daytime,

alternate days or at night, or even daily therapies.

And all of this leads to an improvement in the blood pressure control,

phosphate levels, they can take fewer medications,

less EPO injections, and these translate into not just an improved wellbeing,

but an overall outcome in longevity.

When these patients start their home haemodialysis

they'll be supported by the community nursing team,

as well as technical staff who can be contacted easily

and respond rapidly.

So for the first time in decades

self-management for many is a real and desirable option.

I'm encouraged because this year for the first year

we've seen an increase in the numbers on home haemodialysis.

And I'm particularly encouraged because there's a groundswell of opinion,

if you like a social movement developing

for home haemodialysis within the kidney community.

It's not the treatment for everybody,

but it should be an option that's explored for each individual.

I've only been on nine minutes, so it won't be too late, which is nice.

The work being done at Wythenshawe and other renal units

to support home haemodialysis is helping transform lives,

improving patient experience and outcomes,

offering people real choice in how they lead their lives

and manage their condition.


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Read about dialysis, a treatment used to replicate many of the functions of the kidneys