The way that the outpatient renal dialysis services, located at Whipps Cross, are provided to patients are due to change, in line with our vision for the renal services and in line with national strategic direction. Our vision is to provide more routine renal dialysis closer to patients’ homes, either in their own place of residence, or in a community clinic setting. Our aim is to provide greater flexibility in care delivery, streamline existing pathways and design units conducive to self-care.
The NHS Long Term Plan emphasised the need for redesigned serviced models with care closer to home, the increasing role of ‘activated’ patients to complement clinical care and how these inter-relate with patient choice and optimal care settings, supporting workforce challenges and harnessing technological advancements. This builds on the Five Year Forward View (FYFV) advocating new care models out-of-hospital with specific reference to dialysis in community locations, within a network of care.
Barts Health Renal Services has one of the largest and most reputable programmes for the comprehensive management of kidney diseases in the UK, with the provision of whole pathway care for people with all forms of kidney disease across North East London, parts of Essex and the surrounding areas. We are the second biggest dialysis provider in the UK with 2.5 million people within the service catchment area, but currently fail to leverage this effectively, in terms of cost benefits, research potential, and innovation.
At the same time, we recognise that not all patients can self-care or dialyse at home. For these patients, we will continue to provide in-centre dialysis as locally as possible in an environment that meets patient needs and improves experience.
Our plans involve the relocation of the dialysis units in Queens Hospital and Whipps Cross Hospital, as well as looking to create a new unit at Mile End Hospital.
Currently, there are three dialysis units at Whipps Cross that provide services to 288 patients from the Waltham Forest, Redbridge and Hackney areas with a total of 54 dialysis stations. There are three key issues to the service provided from the existing facilities which we are seeking to address with the move:
- The way that outpatient renal dialysis services are provided to patients from the Whipps Cross ‘place’ to allow for more routine renal dialysis closer to their homes.
- The facilities are not fit for purpose. The estate is eight years past its estimated life span. Costly refurbishment work is needed within the next two years if the service is to continue in its current location.
- The current Whipps Cross outpatient renal dialysis capacity is not sufficient to cope with anticipated growth in demand in North East London (c. 3% annually prior to the Covid-19 pandemic).
Details on the exact timelines for the move will be shared when available.