Patient Perspective - Green Nephrology Summit 2012

William Beale's picture

My wife and I were invited to attend as patients the Green Nephrology Summit 2012. It was well managed and inspiring event. We had international perspective with a delegate from Australia who was bemused that we are controlled by Risk Assessments and seemingly insane H&S and Infection control guidelines that make progress and sustainability difficult. In Australia they have this bureaucracy under control.

We were inspired by working case studies where using primary thought, initiative and cunningness our dedicated NHS staff were able to make a real and sustainable difference by using innovative solutions. Saving acid bottle caps and swapping them for face packs is what actually happens in some areas.

I was struck by how much pooling of knowledge there is. Dedicated staff have a real will to share solutions (in a “took – kit”) that will help other hospitals solve the same problems including all aspects, technical, ethical and ideological to name a few. This prevents resources being badly used in effectively reinventing the wheel. One of the powers of the Green Nephrology Network is to showcase solutions of issues (fighting EU legislation and inane H&S and Infection Control local barriers) for the good of all.

One nephrologist shared that it is the best interests of the patients and exchequer to devote more resources preserving patients kidney function as long as possible so that they ideally never need dialysis. This is naturally the best way forward but the dichotomy is that if successful, nephroligists will do themselves out of a job. A change that needs careful thought. If challanged we are confident that the nephrologist will remember the reasons why he or she became a physician but it is up to us patients to remind our care providers that we must come first. The care provider that provided the best care for patient (even over self sacrifice) will retain the growing patient vote in recruitment and retention. {I dont know if all hospitals, like ours, use a patient pannel in interviewing seniour staff. If not why not?}

The last aspect that I would like to share is there appears to be a misnomer that patients are unwilling to participate in the drive for efficiency. All patients are different and,as renal patients, we understand that the cost of our treatment is probably higher than the cost we have paid in taxes so we are a burden. We also know that for any insurance system to work anywhere on the planet by nature some must always receive more out that they have paid in premia. Ask the patients for help and support, some wont want to, some don’t have the skills or health to be effective but you have a vast untapped resources just waiting to be asked.

William & Angela Beale

September 2012


I think this is one of the

Anthony Perkins's picture

I think this is one of the key messages I took away from the conference William.  Patients are an untapped resource...and there is alot of interest from them to be involved...and I say yes please, the more the merrier!!

I was the delegate from Australia who was a little bemused by the bureaucracy issue you seem to have in the UK.  In Australia we have been recycling spent dialysate bottles and saline bags for some time, the infection control issues you seem to have don't occur with us, and its a shame that policy makers in the UK are are so rigid in their views to not allow thisa very simple waste management improvement.  

I suggest letters and calls to local policy makers, politicians to look into this which could make changes for the better.

Take care






Register or log in to join our networks!