This is page provides general information about the care you can expect on our dialysis units.
Travelling to your dialysis unit
All of our units are close to public transport services. See the satellite dialysis unit, St Thomas' dialysis unit and Guy's dialysis unit pages, which provide contact and travel information.
We can provide transport if your medical condition means that you are unable to use public transport. For more information, please contact the transport department on 020 7188 2888, who will assess your needs.
On the dialysis unit
What should I bring with me?
Tea, coffee, toast or biscuits are available, but we strongly recommend that you bring a packed lunch or snack with you. It can be a long day and it may mean you miss mealtimes. You may also want to bring a book or magazine to pass the time and a small blanket to feel more comfortable.
Will I dialyse at the same time each session?
The units run on an allocated appointment system, with several time slots throughout the day. You will usually dialyse for 4 - 5 hours, although this can vary for each person. There are no sessions on Sundays, so you will dialyse on either:
- Monday, Wednesday, Friday or
- Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday.
We will try to give you an appointment time that meets your needs, although some times are more popular than others. If you would like a specific time, we will add you to a waiting list for that time.
If you learn to self-care, you will not be dependant on nursing time and there may be more flexibility around your appointment time.
What can I do during dialysis?
Each dialysis station has a television that you can watch with personal headphones (please note that there is a charge for this at Guy’s). If you wish to use your own personal music or DVD player please bring headphones so that you do not disturb other patients. All our dialysis units have free WiFi for use with your laptop, tablet or smartphone. Please ask staff for details.
There are no set visiting times for family and friends to visit you during dialysis, so please check with the staff on the unit.
Staff caring for you
All staff caring for you will introduce themselves and will be wearing an identification badge.
- You will have a named nurse who is responsible for your care on the unit, but all staff are happy to answer your questions.
- Your doctor. You will have an appointment to see your doctor within a month of starting dialysis and about every three months after this, usually on your dialysis day. On this day, please bring a list of your medications with you. This is when your doctor will review your medication, dialysis treatment and general health.
Will I need to have blood tests?
We will ask you for permission to take blood when you first arrive at the unit and at the end of every month. This allows us to monitor the effectiveness of your treatment and general health. Your named nurse will discuss the results with you. If there is anything you don't understand, please ask.
You can also see your results on the Patient View website. This is a secure website giving you access your own information about your kidney condition and treatment. For information on how to enrol and register on the website, please ask staff for the Patient View leaflet.
How to get help: emergency contact information
In an emergency, it is vital that you receive treatment as soon as possible. If you suddenly become seriously ill for any reason, you should immediately:
- call your GP or
- dial 999 for an ambulance.
It is helpful if a relative or friend can let us know if you are admitted to hospital.
If you have a less serious problem or concern which you think is directly related to your dialysis treatment, please contact the unit for advice. The doctor or nurse may advise you to see your GP or go to your local Accident and Emergency (A&E) department if they are not sure what is causing the problem.
If you have less serious problems not related to your dialysis, for example coughs and colds, you should contact your GP. You can also contact the unit for advice but depending on the nature of the problem, we may ask you to contact either your GP or local Accident and Emergency (A&E) department.
The Astley Cooper dialysis unit is open for advice 7am-8.30pm, Monday-Saturday. Call 020 7188 8816 or 020 7188 5712.
At all other times please ring Patience ward on 020 7188 8838.
How are we doing?
We hope your stay on our dialysis units is as pleasant as possible. Please don't wait for a concern to become a complaint. If you or your visitors have a question or concern, please: