£1.1m Research to Improve Uptake of At-home Kidney Dialysis

Dawn O'Shea

March 22, 2021

A project led by Keele University could save the NHS up to £45 million over three years by increasing the number of dialysis patients receiving treatment at home.

Led by Keele’s Professor Simon Davies, alongside Professor Lisa Dikomitis, Dr Ivonne Solis-Trapala and Dr Mark Lambie with colleagues from the Universities of Sheffield and Birmingham, the NIHR-funded Inter-CEPt (Intervening to eliminate the centre-effect variation in home dialysis use) study will focus on the reasons why home therapies are not used more equally and fairly by kidney centres across the country, as well as designing and testing possible solutions to improve the uptake of home therapies.

Building on previous collaborations, this multidisciplinary project integrates ethnographic and statistical expertise from Keele, health policy researchers from the University of Birmingham, and health economists from the University of Sheffield.

Around 30,000 kidney failure patients in the UK currently manage their condition with dialysis, either at home or by travelling to their local dialysis unit as an out-patient, where it is provided by healthcare staff.

Although national guidelines encourage the use of home dialysis, the uptake is limited and varies by treatment centre.

Recent research by the Renal Registry also found that certain groups were less likely to have home therapy, particularly patients from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) groups and those from poorer or more disadvantaged backgrounds.

This research aims to change the uptake and availability of home dialysis treatments, by using a five-stage approach to assess the main factors affecting home dialysis availability. This will allow the researchers to develop a practical and feasible approach for dialysis centres to make these treatments more accessible.

Professor Simon Davies from Keele’s School of Medicine said: “We will use in-depth knowledge of what constitutes a strong and equitable home therapies programme to inform a wider survey of dialysis unit practices linked to patient outcomes. This will allow us to develop a bundle of interventions designed to support inclusion of those patients into home therapies who may not currently benefit from this treatment option.”

This article originally appeared on Univadis, part of the Medscape Professional Network.

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