I was diagnosed with chronic renal failure in 2006.
And thanks to my amazing renal team at Queen Alexandra Hospital, in Cosham, I had a kidney transplant, from my father Michael West, on April 23.
I’m sure the number of people undiagnosed kidney disease is higher than one million now.
But I am convinced it could be dramatically reduced – that is, if our GPs were to review their patients’ renal function annually.
If myself and just 50 per cent of the above figure had a simple kidney function blood test, as a matter of course, this would have flagged up the issue.
It could have been treated way before I, or anybody else, ended up with end-stage renal failure.
And therefore avoid the need to start dialysis and all the costs that this involves.
How much money did it cost the NHS to look after me for the last seven years?
If my kidney disease had been caught before my function had dropped to below 10 per cent in one kidney – the other one had already given up – I would probably not have had to start dialysis.
And therefore never have had to have a transplant.
I’m just one in a million.
How much money could be saved by catching renal disease earlier?
Surely this money could then be redistributed to where it’s needed?
Including allocating some to GPs to cover the costs of the blood tests in the first place.