Dialysis ‘doesn’t have to control your life’ as home help is offered

From left, Dr Natalie Borman, Annaliese Britton and Dr Nick Sangala. Picture: David George
From left, Dr Natalie Borman, Annaliese Britton and Dr Nick Sangala. Picture: David George
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CHECKING into hospital for haemodialysis could soon become a thing of the past, according to experts.

Doctors from Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust are offering home haemodialysis to patients suffering with kidney problems.

This, they insist, makes going through dialysis therapy more flexible and provides a huge boost to people’s lives.

Training to use a home haemodialysis machine is available from the Wessex Kidney Centre in Havant, with doctors and current patients advocating the scheme at a dialysis awareness day at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard yesterday.

Dr Natalie Borman said: ‘Home haemodialysis really fell out of favour in the late 1990s, but there has been a real drive to get it back up and running.

‘It does require a little bit of training, but after 10 sessions people are ready to use it in their own home.

‘The main benefits of this are that people can have their therapy changed over time, it gives patients much more flexibility and is less intensive, which means patients tend to feel much better after their therapy.

‘This faster recovery time also means people are able to do more socially – with studies showing that their mental health benefits greatly from this home therapy.’

One of those who have benefitted from the scheme is Annaliese Britton.

She said: ‘When I started my haemodialysis therapy a couple of years ago, I would pass out almost every time and frequently throw up.

‘I was like a zombie – I would go for therapy and by the time I had recovered it would be time to go again.

‘I said I would give home haemodialysis a try – and it has made a huge difference.

‘To have your own input with your care is really good. I now do my dialysis from my bedroom and it means I get my therapy while also enjoying some home comforts.

‘Because of the quicker recovery times, I am now able to socialise and have met a load of new people.

‘It just goes to show that dialysis doesn’t have to control your life.

‘For me, it has been life-changing.’

Dr Nick Sangala says that the event at the dockyard was a huge success.

He said: ‘Events like this that show patients an alternative are important.

‘Many patients can feel as though their therapy is out of their control, but that should not be the case.’

The home haemodialysis machines are ready to be rolled out across the region, with unlimited supply.

Dr Borman said: ‘We have an unlimited supply of these machines, so they are ready to go into homes.’

For more information, visit porthosp.nhs.uk