Kidney care community calls on commissioners to support sustainable care

Frances Mortimer's picture

Delegates at the Green Nephrology Summit 2012, on 26th September, have issued a call to policy makers and healthcare commissioners to support them in bringing about the transformation to sustainable models of care.

The Summit, which was organised by the Centre for Sustainable Healthcare, was attended by nurses, doctors, technicians, patients, NHS managers, industry representatives, medical students and sustainability experts.  Topics discussed the development of a patient movement in Green Nephrology, and the opportunities for prevention of kidney disease and its progression - with many creative ideas, such as agreement on "sick day rules" to educate kidney patients on how to protect their kidneys from additional harm during intercurrent illness.

Delegates shared a sense of urgency about the need to reduce the environmental impact of kidney services, and a positive vision for a more preventative, flexible, patient-centred health system.

But they also shared a sense of frustration at funding mechanisms in the NHS which reward Trusts for healthcare activity, even where this does not contribute to improving patients' health or their experience of care.

For example, Dr Arif Khwaja from Sheffield presented a new disease management programme for kidney disease, in which patients can have blood tests taken at their local surgery but receive telephone advice from the specialist renal service.  Fewer, shorter journeys mean lower carbon emissions, while patients report that they "feel more in control of their kidney health since being treated in this way". But NHS funding arrangements mean that the service is currently unsupported - indeed is losing business for the Trust by reducing the need for conventional outpatient appointments.

The kidney care community is offering to lead in the innovation and adoption of high quality, patient-centred, sustainable care systems.  Policy makers and commissioners are challenged to support them by developing funding models which incentivise patient outcomes over activity, and which reward services for improving health and reducing demand.


Download the Green Nephrology Summit 2012 Position Statement here

Download a summary of all the Summit presentations and workshops, along with slides, here.

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