Kidney patients at Derby City Hospital praise new dialysis caravan
KIDNEY patients from Derby will soon a get a home from home in North Wales where they can have dialysis treatment while they are on holiday.
Derby City General Hospital has fitted out a static caravan in Caernarfon with dialysis equipment, which patients can use when they are staying in the area.
The caravan, which cost about £50,000 to equip, will be at a caravan site in the town from Monday.
People with kidney problems often have to book holidays up to a year in advance to ensure that a nearby hospital can provide them with dialysis. Now, taking a break could be much easier.
Kidney patient Andrew Redfern, who attends the city hospital's renal unit for dialysis three times a week, said the caravan would transform the way he took a holiday.
"It's a brilliant idea. At the moment, we have to pick where we want to go on holiday, then find out if there is a dialysis unit in the vicinity that can fit a patient in.
"I have just come back from a holiday in Scotland and I could only go because I managed to book a spare place in a dialysis unit up there.
"Having a static caravan available for patients is a brilliant idea because it means we have more of an opportunity to go on holiday. It's fantastic."
Fellow kidney patient Susan Blackshaw echoed his sentiments.
Mrs Blackshaw, who has been having dialysis at home for 26 years, said: "At the moment, when I go on holiday I have to book a place in a hospital up to a year in advance and it can sometimes be a three-hour round trip for my treatment.
"This caravan will mean my family and friends can now come on holiday with me because I will have somewhere to have my dialysis."
The static unit can provide treatment for two patients at any one time and, from September onwards, will at first be open to home dialysis patients who can use the facilities independently.
From next year, the hospital is planning to staff the caravan with nurses from the renal unit for a period of time, giving those who need help with their dialysis the chance to use the service as well.
Carol Rhodes, who works at the hospital's renal unit, said that staffing the caravan would enable up to eight patients a week to use the facility.
She said: "It can often be quite a stressful time for patients who have to go to a new hospital for their treatment but this way, it will be staffed by nurses they already know.
"I think this is something that will