Posted on Thursday 4 April 2019
Lee Bellew is one of the first patients at the new renal dialysis centre
A state-of-the-art facility for patients who need dialysis has opened in south east London.
Run in partnership between Guy’s and St Thomas’ and kidney dialysis specialist providers Diaverum UK, the satellite clinic is based at University Hospital Lewisham and replaces a smaller, recently closed unit at Forest Hill.
With a total of 20 dialysis stations, five more than its predecessor, it includes two rooms dedicated to inpatient haemodialysis. This means that inpatients at University Hospital Lewisham who need dialysis no longer have to be transferred to Guy’s Hospital , a round trip that could take up to eight-hours.
The new unit is modern, spacious and more comfortable for patients. It will be staffed by the same team and operate the same opening hours as the Forest Hill centre – Monday to Saturday from 7am to 11.30pm. It will be able to treat a maximum of 120 patients on three shifts – mornings, afternoons and evenings.
Ros Tibbles, service improvement nurse at Guy’s and St Thomas’, said: “We’re delighted to offer this new clinic to patients. With 20 dialysis stations instead of the 15 we had at the Forest Hill centre, we can dialyse many more patients each week.
“The environment at the new centre is much more pleasant for patients and will bring vast improvements to comfort and privacy. This is especially important for this group of patients who require dialysis three times a week, for four to five hours at a time.
“We are committed to improving patient care and experience and we are confident that the new dialysis centre will make a big difference to our patients.”
Michael Hartnett, Managing Director for Diaverum, said: “We are delighted to be working with our NHS partners to bring this new state-of-the-art dialysis centre to local patients.
“Our patients transferring from Forest Hill will now have a much more spacious and comfortable environment for their treatment, and inpatients requiring dialysis will no longer need to travel to other centres to receive their care.”
Dr Elizabeth Aitken, Medical Director for Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust, said: “This is partnership working at its very best. We’ve worked closely with GSTT and Diaverum to set up the new renal dialysis centre at University Hospital Lewisham, and it will bring huge benefits to local residents who need regular dialysis.
“The new centre will also improve the experience of our hospital patients who require dialysis as they will no longer need to be transferred offsite. This will mean rehabilitation treatment will not be interrupted, enabling them to recover faster.”
Lee Bellew, from Lewisham, was one of the first patients to receive dialysis at the new centre.
He said: “My first kidney failed when I was four, the second when I was 10, so I’ve been having dialysis for about 30 years. This new unit is perfect, very open and spacious, with more room between dialysis stations. I come three times a week for four hours at a time, so it’s important that it’s comfortable. It’s the same staff as the old Forest Hill unit, and they’re all brilliant.
“The patients from the old unit were consulted on the design of the new unit and we asked for it to be on the ground floor, to be more spacious and to be decorated in neutral colours, and we’ve got all of those things.
“I feel very tired straight after dialysis but the next day I’ll be in the park having a workout. It’s a way of life for me.”