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Wigan Renal Unit
Boston House
Frog Lane

Post Code:


Patients were first dialysed here in 2006

This unit has the following transplant centres:

Manchester Royal Infirmary

This centre is a satellite unit of Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust

unit image

Outside the Wigan Unit

Telephone number:

0161 206 4809 or 0161 206 4810

Holiday dialysis enquiries:

Emma Butler - Unit Adminstrator


01942 482062

Email Address:

Unit website:

Trust website:


Dr J Hegarty, Consultant Renal Physcian
Dr E O'Riordan, Consultant Renal Physcian
Dr P Evans, Consultant Renal Physcian

Page administered by:

Emma Butler

About the unit

Welcome to Wigan Renal Unit

We are the local dialysis unit for people who live in Ashton, Wigan and Leigh and we are part of Salford Royal Foundation NHS Trust, a University of Manchester and University of Salford Teaching Hospital. In October 2008, Salford Royal was rated ‘Excellent’ by the national body that monitors hospitals (see links, and

Our unit was set up in 2006 and prides itself on having strong values, aiming for excellence in kidney care. To achieve this, we work in partnership with you and your family and we also work hard to attract and keep good staff by valuing them and investing in their ongoing education and personal development. We are guided by some things, which we call our ‘Very Important Principles’ - which include a commitment to….
* Provide an excellent standard of care and a service that is honest, warm and friendly
* Offer flexibility, reliability, confidentiality & choice
* Treat you as an individual and give you individualised care

Our unit is friendly and family-focused. You can be sure your medical and nursing care is of a very high standard – indeed we challenge ourselves by comparing our monthly results with the best renal units in the country. We also understand that dialysis every other day is a tough lifestyle and in collaboration with our patients and supporters – we have brought in bingo sessions, free internet access with access to laptops, complimentary therapy, exercise bikes and training, a garden and a multimedia library to try and make things go easier whilst you are on the unit. Our work was recognised just 2 years after we opened when we won the prestigious British Journal for Renal Medicine National Award for Innovation in Renal Medicine. (

We use a National survey to check how well we are doing from the point of view of the most important people – the people who dialyse with us! The full results are available here for those who would like to see them – the following are a few examples of what our patients say about their care in 2008.

Rating for nurse’s communication
Our unit is performing better than the best in the UK
Patients were asked whether the nurses answered their questions in a way which they were able to understand. Of the responses which were “Yes definitely”, Wigan is exceeding the best in the UK.

Travel to and from dialysis treatment
Our unit is performing well in comparison to the national average
Patients were asked – How long does it take to travel to the dialysis unit approximately.

Other ways of looking at how good our care is?
We are extremely proud that we have had no MRSA blood stream infections since the unit opened in July 2006.

We also track our other (non MRSA) infections blood stream infections every month. Currently we have gone 6 months with no such infection.

We also have monthly charts looking at medical targets such as anaemia management and blood pressure control. These are displayed on the unit and put in the Patient Newsletter. We track our blood results under the following 4 sections:

Pre Haemodialysis Blood Pressure

Serum Phosphate

Urea Reduction Ratio


Where are we and what do we offer?

We are housed in Boston House Health Centre, along with a GP surgery, Pharmacy, Long Term Conditions, Physiotherapy, Audiology, District Nurses and Health Visitors.

The Renal Unit includes the following services:
* An 18 station Haemodialysis Unit
* Peritoneal Dialysis training room
* Outpatient Clinic Facilities
* IT facilities for Community Nurses
* Seminar room for staff and patient training/teaching
* A patient garden and library

The following section has more detailed information on what is on offer at the Unit if you are a local patient or kidney supporter/carer. We also have a Kidney Handbook with further information and some useful tools for learning to live well with your kidney disease – please feel free to download or let us know if you need a paper copy.

Is there anything I can do to support the unit?
YES! We have many kind offers of support – from local entertainment fundraisers, to swimathons and abseiling down high buildings! All the money raised goes into the unit charity fund, which is operated in accordance with strict national rules for charitable funds. The money is used for patient improvements and at discretion some staff training. The money is NOT used for any equipment or training that could be considered normal NHS responsibilities. Money from the charity account has to be signed by the Lead Consultant and Unit Manager jointly, and only after approval by a local patient representative who is a service user. Please contact Emma on 01942 482050 if you want to offer us any support.

Your time at Wigan Renal Unit
Patients usually dialyse three times a week on alternate days.
The unit operates four shift patterns…
* Monday, Wednesday, Friday Morning
* Monday, Wednesday Friday Afternoon
* Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday Morning
* Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday Afternoon

Before or around your first dialysis session at the unit, you will be informed of your shift pattern and your appointment time. We often say “8.30 for 9” and this means you should aim to arrive at around 8.30 ready for dialysis at 9. This gives you time to prepare – washing your hands and fistula arm well to prevent infections, weighing, taking your blood pressure and getting anything you may want to keep comfy during your session e.g. DVD players, books etc.

We always try to give you your preferred shift and an appointment time to suit you but some shifts are more popular than others and so giving you your first choice may not be immediately possible. If this is the case, we will list you for the time you want as soon as it becomes free.
Please try to arrive on time for your appointment. Bear in mind with the appointment system that if you arrive too early, there may be other patients who have an earlier appointment time and will therefore be put on dialysis before you.

In some circumstances, it may be necessary to change your appointment time. We will always try to give you as much notice as possible of any shift/time change.

Each shift is managed by a co-ordinator. This senior member of staff is responsible for the safe and effective running of the shift. They are there to supervise the more junior members of the team and are always ready to help you if you have any health related issues. The co-ordinator differs from shift to shift, so please check with a member of staff if you wish to speak to them.

Transfer to Salford/Wigan

As we are a satellite unit, we do not have the same services close to hand as a dialysis unit based in a main hospital. Although we work hard with you to keep you well on dialysis, unfortunately, some illnesses or procedures may mean that it is in your best interest to be admitted. Because of this, if you become unwell on dialysis, the Senior Nurse or Doctor may make a decision that you should be admitted to Wigan Hospital or Salford Royal for further tests or investigations.

We will always try to keep the length of stay to a minimum and you will not lose your slot on the unit if you are admitted to hospital.

Wigan Infirmary itself does not have the facilities to give long-term haemodialysis to renal patients. Depending what you need to go into hospital for, you may be admitted to Wigan and receive your dialysis at Boston House or Salford Renal Unit or you may be admitted to Salford as an inpatient. We try and give the best fit for you as an individual and a senior member will always be involved in the decision making process.

If you ever attend another doctor or health care unit always let them know you are a dialysis patient and don’t allow them to take blood, take blood pressure or give injections in your fistula arm. Ask any other doctor you see to copy letters about you to your Kidney Consultant as well as your GP. There are contact details available on small business cards to make this easier. Please keep a few in your wallet or purse.

Your Kidney Consultant is always happy to be contacted by other doctors if there are any queries they can help with.

Useful Contacts:

Wigan Renal Unit 01942 482050 or 482057
Ward H3 Salford Royal 0161 206 4634
Renal Unit Salford Royal 0161 206 5228
Wigan RAEI 01942 244000
NHS Direct 0845 4647
Rebecca Pearce & Michelle King (Dieticians) 0161 206 4497
Dr Hegarty’s Secretary 0161 206 2714
Dr O’Riordan’s Secretary 0161 206 4389
Sister Karen Scroby,
Live Kidney Donor Coordinator 07793 189 544
Renal Social Worker 0161 206 4820
Carers Centre Wigan Ashton Leigh 01942 828777
CAB Wigan 01942 829122
National Kidney Federation 0845 601 0209

Ward Rounds
Ward rounds by the nursing team are done on a daily basis and by your doctors at least once a month. If you have any problems or concerns regarding any aspect of your health, you can let the nursing team know on their daily round or ask to speak to your doctor when they are next at the Unit. Most people when we have asked prefer to see their doctors and nurses whilst they are on dialysis even though its not 100% private. This may not however always be appropriate for you for every health concern you wish to talk about. If you would prefer to speak to a member of the care team in private, away from the ‘shopfloor’, we are happy to arrange this – please just ask.

Rebecca Pearce and Michelle King are the dieticians for the Wigan unit. They visit the unit on a regular basis and can give advice on foods to enjoy and foods to avoid in order to maintain a healthy diet. Rebecca and Michelle are happy to work with you but also whoever has shared responsibility for shopping and cooking at home so they can get confident with helping you get your diet right as a kidney patient – just ask for a meeting. We also have sample menus available on request & copies of kidney-failure friendly cook-books in the patient library; please ask a member of the team.

Social Worker
Social Workers can help you to overcome problems and make your life better. For example with extra help at home, aids to your house, help with grants or benefits or finding other local resources that may help you. At the moment, Paula Garvey is the dedicated social worker for the renal department and can be contacted on 0161 206 4820.

Medications are an important part of staying well as a kidney patient and becoming an expert in your own medications is a great idea. There are Pharmacists at Salford Royal who have specialist knowledge in treating people with kidney problems – Liz Lamerton is one of the Senior Renal Pharmacists. You will see Liz on the unit from time to time but in addition, we encourage you to book in a medication review any time you feel it would help.
Medication reviews can help with the following…
* Having a better understanding of what you are on and why, and this can help you feel more in control of managing your condition
* Understanding the side effects of your medication
* What to do with different tablets on dialysis days
* Quantity and frequency of tablets may be improved to suit your needs and lifestyle
* Help with tablets or medication that can be varied, eg, insulin & phosphate binders.

A newsletter for the unit is produced on a monthly basis. If there is anything you would like included in the newsletter – let Emma know.

Renal Patient View
Patient View is a new service to renal patients, which was launched in Summer 2007. It enables you to view your test results on the Internet in the same way as internet banking. If you wish to have access to this service, you will be allocated a user name and password, which is unique to you, no one else will be able to access your results without your say-so. You are free to disclose your password to any other health care service for example your GP who may like to track your progress.

Complementary Therapy
We are working with students from Wigan & Leigh College to provide free of charge complementary therapies to patients and their carers. An initial assessment will be undertaken by a member of the team to determine your individual needs and then an appropriate course of treatment will be arranged.

Sessions can take place in a side-room to make the experience more private and comfortable. You will not be asked to have any treatments that you do not feel happy with and all therapies can be stopped at anytime.

A further leaflet, which provides more information, is available on request.

There is no reason why you shouldn’t enjoy an active lifestyle whilst on dialysis, indeed for all patients, moderate exercise is encouraged. There are 2 ways of approaching exercise – on dialysis days and on days you don’t dialyse. The benefits of doing some exercise on dialysis include improved removal of toxins from the blood during your kidney replacement treatment.

Your Doctors and Nurses will be talking with you about getting ‘fit for you’ and how to go about it. Before embarking on any exercise program, you should speak with one of the Doctors, as there are certain exercises which should be avoided depending on your condition.

We work with the ‘Steps to Health’ program to provide discounted services at certain gyms across the borough and a referral appointment with an Activity Co-ordinator at one of these centres can be arranged. The co-ordinator will design a program to suit your needs and will be available for you to discuss any queries or concerns.
Pedometers are available for you to monitor the number of steps taken in a day, which is a great way to lose weight and get fit. We also have 2 in-house Exercise Coaches – Anne and Christine who are trained to advise and supervise exercise whilst on dialysis e.g. with the exercise bikes. Beware – you may be asked to dust off those old trainers and jogging pants!

Please ask a member of staff for details.

What else to do on dialysis?
As well as complimentary therapy and exercise, we also have a library with books, magazines, DVDs and DVD players and music on the unit that is kept well-stocked by patients themselves. You have access to terrestrial TV and radio stations via your own ceiling mounted TV. We also have internet wireless access and 2 laptops you can borrow or you are free to bring in your own laptop and use the internet free of charge. Wednesday morning is bingo day at the moment!

Holiday Dialysis
Most people need a break from time to time, and kidney patients are no exception. Holidays are a great way to relax and often provide a welcome break for carers.
Providing you are fit and well there is no reason why you shouldn’t enjoy a holiday either in the UK or abroad. Holidays for kidney patients on dialysis do require more planning, so last minute bookings are not a reliable option but there are many units throughout the world who accept holiday patients for dialysis. You must check with the medical staff on the unit before planning or booking any holiday and it is advisable to give as much notice as possible to enable the relevant blood tests and swabs to be carried out.
Most units abroad offer dialysis free of charge providing you have a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). Some units in the UK are privately run and therefore charge a fee per session. The cost of this is usually met by the Trust depending on the number of dialysis sessions you need.
Your local Kidney Patient Association has also bought a static caravan based in Blackpool, which offers great no-profit value for money at £150 per week for up to 6 sharing – ask Emma for a leaflet.

Useful information regarding holiday dialysis can be found on the following websites or on the unit noticeboards:
For further information on any aspect of holiday dialysis, please ask member of the unit staff.

Hope Hospital Kidney Patients Association (HHKPA)
Who are we?

HHKPA is a Registered Charity run by kidney patients for kidney patients and their carers, relatives and friends. Funding is entirely via collections, lotteries, donations and fundraising events.

Money received enables production of newsletters keeping members and readers informed of hospital renal activities as well as social events and news. It also enables the Association to support research activity as well as maintaining a Renal Social Fund to help patients suffering short-term financial hardship (via the hospital based social services department). Help with holidays for renal patients is also available.
Hope Hospital KPA represents the interests of kidney patients who are treated at Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust and its dialysis units. Membership is free and open to patients, carers and anyone with a direct interest in the subject of renal disease.

The Association also represents the interests of patients at meetings with medical and managerial staff at the hospital and can offer help and advice and information on matters of concern to the patient and/or their carer.

Suggestions, Comments & Complaints
Patient input is a vital part in maintaining an effective service; we always value suggestions on how we can improve. In fact – you may find us asking for your thoughts and ideas quite a lot!!
You can make suggestions for how we can do things differently or better by speaking to any of the care team, the Unit manager Joanne, or emailing us at

Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS)
The PALS team are able to provide ‘on the spot’ help and advice to patients, carers, friends and families who may have some concerns or questions they feel they do not wish to discuss with a member of staff. They will listen to you and provide you with relevant information and support to help resolve any concerns or problems you may have, as quickly and efficiently and of course, as confidentially, as possible.
In the first instance it is always useful to discuss your concerns with the Unit Manager. If you find this difficult for any reason the PALS team can do this for you.
PALS Manager
Salford Royal Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Hope Hospital
Stott Lane
Salford M6 8HD
0161 206 2003 (with answer phone)
Opening hours are 8.30am to 4.30pm Monday to Friday, closed Bank Holidays.

Other Sources of Information, Help and Support
Moving from patient to person

If you live with a long-term illness like kidney disease, why not take control by becoming an Expert Patient. The Expert Patients Programme is a self-management course giving people the confidence, skills and knowledge to manage their condition better and be more in control of their lives. Over 30,000 people have attended an Expert Patients Programme (EPP) in England. The EPP is a six week course for people with chronic or long-term conditions. The course is delivered by trained and accredited tutors who are also living with a long term health condition. It aims to give people the confidence to take more responsibility and self-manage their health, while encouraging them to work collaboratively with health and social care professionals. The EPP does not provide health information or treatment, nor does it address clinical needs. Course topics include healthy eating, dealing with pain and extreme tiredness, relaxation techniques and coping with feelings of depression.

Contact or…
Cheshire, Merseyside - Lyn Wilson Business Lead, North
Tel: 0151 298 3277
Cumbria & Lancashire - Helen O'Neil Senior Trainer
Tel: 01772 645634

There is also an EPP - ‘Looking after me’ course you may want to let one of your supporters know about.
‘Looking after me’ is a free course for adults who help to care for someone living with a long-term health condition or disability. As its name implies, the course is about that person making time to look after their own health needs. It aims to help them to take more control of your situation and make a difference to their quality of life.
The course looks at:
* relaxation techniques
* dealing with tiredness
* exercise
* healthy eating
* coping with depression
* communicating with family, friends and professionals
* planning for the future.

Who can take part?
Any adult who has any long-term health condition themselves and who gives help to a relative or friend who is ill, disabled, elderly or in need of emotional support (in other words, they are a carer).
Any adult who is a carer and whose health is affected by this (back injury, stress-related illnesses, psychological ill-health, for example).

‘Looking after me’ is led by trained tutors who themselves have experience of caring for a relative. The course is run over six weekly half-day sessions (including coffee/ tea and lunch breaks).

How can it help you?
By taking part in a ‘Looking after me’ course, you will:
* learn new skills to help you to cope with your caring situation
* develop the confidence to take more control of your life
* meet with others who share similar experiences

For more information, log onto the website Our own website contains helpful information and details of the services offered to people with kidney disease. The website address is – search under “kidney”.

More than six million people give some of their time to care for someone they love - that's one in eight people in the UK. If you have a carer or are yourself caring for someone with a long-term health condition or disability, there is advice and information on the following websites:
The centre for Wigan, Ashton and Leigh is on 01942 683 711
The National Website for the Princess Royal Trust for Carers
Another National organisation
Or contact the Carers Line on 0808 808 7777
Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB)
The Citizens Advice Bureau provides free, confidential and independent advice. Advice is available face-to-face and by telephone. Their advice helps people resolve their debt, benefits, housing, legal, discrimination, employment, immigration, consumer and other problems and is available to everyone regardless of race, gender, sexuality, age, nationality, disability or religion.
For more information, log onto or telephone the Wigan Bureau on 0870 126 4459.

Paid Work, Voluntary or Charitable Work
There is a lot of evidence to show that humans are ‘hard-wired’ to enjoy making things happen; think of how infants and children naturally play. Having a long-term condition should not be seen as something that means you can’t aspire to be active in society and get meaning or satisfaction from some kind of ‘work’.

Long term health conditions can, it’s true, affect your ability to get or keep paid work and this can therefore take a bit of extra planning. If there is anything we can do to help with this, for example helping you explain dialysis to employers, changing your dialysis times etc, please discuss this as part of your care plan. For some people, they can be planning to keep their skills up through training or education whilst they wait for a kidney transplant. Some of our dialysis patients study for their degrees whilst having their treatment!

If you feel like paid work is not for you or not a realistic option, unpaid or charitable work is a great way of having something to get out of bed for, use your talents and be appreciated. Unpaid work also can give you opportunities to do things you may never have dreamed of doing! – working in sports, the theatre, radio or National Heritage Homes, or with kids, animals, or the environment.
Volunteers make a vital contribution to all aspects of community life and many projects simply wouldn’t be possible without volunteers willing to give their time. You can usually arrange to do something that will work around your dialysis – both time commitments and allowing flexibility if you have a new health problem or simply periods of not as much get up and go.

Please ring Wigan and Leigh Volunteer Bureau to arrange for help looking at local volunteer opportunities. Their number is 01942 201 053, and they are at 19 Upper Dicconson Street, Wigan
Or search the following web-sites…

Research and special expertise

Wigan Haemodialysis Survey for 2008

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