Cumbria Crack

North Cumbria renal team shortlisted for national award

Peritoneal dialysis nurses

[A] team of nurses in North Cumbria have been shortlisted for a prestigious Burdett Nursing Award, which could see North Cumbria University Hospitals Trust’s (NCUH) Renal service awarded as much as £20,000.

The peritoneal dialysis team is a nurse-led service that supports patients with kidney failure in administering their own dialysis therapy at home. A dialysis patient who comes into hospital would usually have to attend three 4-hour dialysis sessions per week, however peritoneal patients are able to self-dialyse themselves at home, usually overnight as they sleep.

The Burdett Nursing Awards 2018 reward nursing teams for their sustained commitment to providing high-quality care. Winners in seven categories will receive a charitable grant award of £20,000 and all remaining shortlisted teams will receive £2,500. The peritoneal team have been shortlisted in the “Who cares, wins” category which looks for ‘an exceptional team that has succeeded in embedding excellence in patient care as a driving force in its organisations strategy’.

NCUH’s team work closely with patients and their families empowering and supporting dialysis care and health decision making. The team’s aim is to keep patients well and away from the hospital environment with support both physically and emotionally which allows them to remain at the forefront of their journey with renal failure and dialysis therapy.

The team have been shortlisted for their dedication to their patients, for centring their individual needs and ensuring they live the most fulfilled lives possible.

Examples of how the team have demonstrated how they meet the award criteria include –

  • Setting up a social group to bring peritoneal patients together, preventing isolation and giving patients the opportunity to form connections with others in their situation. The days out – which have included afternoon tea at Muncaster Castle and a trip to Beamish– are funded by local charity Cumbria Kidney Patients Association.
  • Procuring ‘U-Drains’, which means that rather than collecting dialysis fluid from the abdomen in a 10-15 litre drain bag every day, patients can ‘plug in’ their dialysis tube to a U-Drain socket in the wall. This eliminates the need for patients to dispose of the fluid themselves, is environmentally friendly, and saves the Trust around £600 per patient each year.
  • Ensuring patients are able to lead independent lives, including organising delivery of dialysis equipment to holiday destinations – one nurse even arranged the delivery of equipment to Australia so a patient could visit her family while still being able to administer her therapy.
    Last year, NCUH’s Renal Units were rated as the best in the country in a new patient experience report. The Trust’s units at the Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle and West Cumberland Hospital in Whitehaven (WCH) came top in eight of the 13 themes and were ranked best for overall patient experience. There are also plans to expand the Renal Unit at WCH from May 2018 onwards.

Sally Tait, peritoneal dialysis nurse specialist, said: “The team is very passionate about their role, and the needs of the patient is always at the forefront of everything we do. We are there with our patients every step of the way – from training them how to ‘self-dialyse’, to supporting them in their home setting, and ensuring them have everything they need in order to avoid a hospital visit. We’re extremely proud of the work that we do, and we are very grateful to the team and everyone who supports us in our role.”

The award ceremony will be held on 24 May in London, and a presentation was delivered by two peritoneal nurses in March.

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