Southend Hospital dialysis unit was developed as a Satellite unit of the London Hospital in the mid 1980s but soon after became independent. It was moved from a small hospital off site to its present location on the main hospital campus in 1993. A small peritoneal dialysis programme was run for ashort time in the early 1980s and the present programme recommenced in 1992.
There are 28 haemodialysis stations on the main unit (expanded March 2008) with 4 (plus 2 side rooms) stations on the inpatient ward. The peritoneal dialysis office and training room are adjacent to the ward.
The main unit houses outpatient rooms for renal clinics which include general nephrology, dialysis review, low clearance and transplant follow up. A joint renal diabetic clinic is undertaken in the Diabetes centre.
There is a strong link with Critical Care with daily ward rounds of all patients undertaken by a consultant nephrologist in rotation and consultant anaesthetist.
Renal replacement therapy using continuous treatment is performed by the critical care nurses with facilities for intermittent haemodialysis used by haemodialysis staff.
In 1989 there were 15 patients on haemodialysis in South Essex at Southend. A unit at Basildon Hospital was opened in 1997 with initial support from Southend and there are now more than 250 patients on haemodialysis in South Essex of whom 125 patients are at Southend. There are currently more than 20 patients on peritoneal dialysis with options for APD as required. The relatively small number of PD to HD patients reflects the age range of ourpatients and the offer of free choice of modality of treatment. We also offer a home haemodialysis service.
The majority of renal transplants for our patients are performed at the Royal London Hospital usually returning to our clinic at 3 months. A small number are referred to Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge for consideration of combined renal /pancreatic grafts.
We expect to manage all aspects of renal disease, except transplantation, locally.
Our unit has extensive experience of training non-nursing dialysis staff to perform all aspects of haemodialysis including the needling of fistulae and use of dialysis catheters, out-of-hours and emergency dialysis(seniors). They are not permitted to administer intravenous drugs. The training has been adapted to fit with the development of the NVQ in dialysis. We also have an HCA working in peritoneal dialysis.
We have two renal SpRs in posts recognised for training in GIM and Renal Medicine which form part of the North Thames (London Deanery) programme.