Support services

Kidney supportive care

Peer support

Peer support gives you and your family or carer an opportunity to talk one-to-one with an experienced kidney patient. Peer supporters are trained, unpaid volunteers.

You can speak to your peer supporter at any time, including:

  • when you are first given your diagnosis
  • when you are considering treatment choices
  • any time that you feel it may be helpful to talk to another patient

You'll share common experiences and you can ask to be put in touch with someone of a similar age, background or who's having similar treatment.

Peer supporters cannot offer medical advice, counselling or advice about benefits, finance or social care issues.

If you're interested in peer support, talk to your kidney doctor or nurse, or call the advanced kidney care team on 020 7188 2846.

Psychological support

The renal psychology service provides a number of services, including:

  • psychological assessment
  • information and signposting
  • therapy

The course of therapy uses a variety of methods depending on your needs. We work closely with your healthcare team in the hospital and in the community to help with your overall health and emotional wellbeing. We help you cope with, and adjust to, your health condition.

You may experience different emotions or stress at different stages of your kidney care. We are there to help, particularly:

  • when you're first diagnosed
  • when you're starting dialysis
  • during your dialysis treatment
  • if you're having a transplant
  • if your transplant fails
  • if you need end of life care

We can help if you're experiencing:

  • low mood or depression because of your kidney disease
  • anxiety or stress because of your kidney disease
  • difficulties coming to terms with your condition
  • difficulties coping with uncertainty about your health and treatment
  • difficulties adjusting to everyday life with kidney disease
  • fears about the future

Carers can also ask for help if they are finding it difficult to cope with caring for a loved one.

You can have up to 10 sessions, depending on your needs and what you agree with your psychologist at your initial appointment. Your first appointment is usually an assessment and will last 1 hour. The psychologist will talk to you about your concerns. They'll assess if a series of psychological support sessions will be helpful. Follow-up appointments are usually every 2 weeks.

Your appointment may be:

A member of your renal team can refer you. You can also self-refer by contacting us on 020 7188 9770 or 020 7188 7845 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm).

Social work support

Social workers in our team can help you, your family and carers on social care issues related to kidney disease.

We may be able to offer you advice and support with:

  • benefits
  • finances
  • housing
  • legal issues
  • moving from hospital to home
  • practical help at home
  • work issues

We can see you see in our kidney clinic, on wards or in the dialysis units. We can also offer advice over the phone.

You can speak to a member of your kidney care team who can refer you. Or you can contact the social work team directly on 020 7188 4023 or 020 7188 5684.

Do you have any comments or concerns about your care?

Contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS)

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