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Waiting times criticised by kidney dialysis patients


Patients in need of kidney dialysis are waiting ‘unacceptable’ periods of time for transport to take them to hospital, a large-scale survey has found.

The poll of nearly 12,000 patients discovered that a large number waited half an hour or longer to be picked up by hospital transport, while others complained of long journey times.

All the patients surveyed were undergoing haemodialysis treatment, which mostly takes place in NHS hospitals and clinics.

The National Kidney Care Audit Patient Transport Survey, carried out by the NHS Information Centre, is the first study to look at the services in England, Wales and Northern Ireland used by the 19,000 patients on haemodialysis.

Patients typically need three or four hours of dialysis treatment, three times a week.

Overall, the poll found that just over six in 10 patients said the service met their needs.

In all parts of England, Wales and Northern Ireland, patients who travelled using their own or public transport had shorter journey times than those who used transport provided by the hospitals.

Dr Donal O’Donoghue, national clinical director for kidney care, said: ‘Patient transport services, acute trusts and other providers of dialysis, commissioners and kidney patient associations all have responsibilities and need to work together.’


Readers' comments (3)

  • Whilst sympathising with thes people the UK must have the most miserable 'whining culture' in the world. Treatment is laid on at a fraction of the amount most pay / have paid in NI deductions and now there are complaints about transport. Perhaps we need to look at environmental impact of the extra trips that would be needed to improve matters. Or patients might be able to create self help groups? Or ask for lifts from WRVS?
    The nanny state can only do so much.
    Sorry - this may just be a Victor Meldrew moment!
    Then again a half hour wait is quite common if waiting for any sort of bus, and long journeys result from living a long way away.....

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  • I am a Renal dialysis nurse and patients come in to the hospital 3 times a week for treatment that can be at times very exhusting. These sessions can be up to 5 hours each time for the rest of their lives or if they are lucky enough to have a transplant.

    An example a patient has to be ready for transport at 5:30am, 5 hours dialysis. They then wait from 1pm for transport again.

    I think it is disgusting at the amount of time waiting for transport to hospital and back home again.If you are lucky enough to qualify for transport. I think all renal dialysis patients should recieve transport.

    We should be looking at quality service to give these people who are inspirational not Victor Meldrew moments.

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  • The first writer needs to think about the effects of delays in transport TO dialysis units. If one person is late everyone else who uses that machine will be delayed. Having a disability is not something people choose & dialysis is not a pleasant treatment; for goodness sake show a bit of compassion. To use a derogatory term like `whining' demeans people who have no choice but to rely on an imperfect system.

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