A state-of-the-art facility for patients who need dialysis has opened at University Hospital Lewisham.
Run in partnership between Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust (GSTT) and kidney dialysis specialist providers Diaverum UK, the satellite clinic replaces a smaller, recently closed unit at Forest Hill.
With a total of 20 dialysis stations, five more than its predecessor, it includes two rooms dedicated to inpatient haemodialysis. This means that inpatients at University Hospital Lewisham who need dialysis no longer have to be transferred to Guy’s Hospital, a round trip that could take up to eight hours.
The new unit is modern, spacious and more comfortable for patients. It is staffed by the same team and operates the same opening hours as the Forest Hill centre – Monday to Saturday from 7am to 11.30pm. It will be able to treat a maximum of 120 patients on three shifts – mornings, afternoons and evenings.
Dr Elizabeth Aitken, Medical Director for Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust, said: “This is partnership working at its very best. We’ve worked closely with GSTT and Diaverum to set up the new renal dialysis centre at University Hospital Lewisham, and it will bring huge benefits to local residents who need regular dialysis.
“The new centre will also improve the experience of our hospital patients who require dialysis as they will no longer need to be transferred offsite. This will mean rehabilitation treatment will not be interrupted, enabling them to recover faster.”
Lee Bellew, from Lewisham, was one of the first patients to receive dialysis at the new centre.
He said: “My first kidney failed when I was four, the second when I was 10, so I’ve been having dialysis for about 30 years. This new unit is perfect, very open and spacious, with more room between dialysis stations. I come three times a week for four hours at a time, so it’s important that it’s comfortable. It’s the same staff as the old Forest Hill unit, and they’re all brilliant.
“The patients from the old unit were consulted on the design of the new unit and we asked for it to be on the ground floor, to be more spacious and to be decorated in neutral colours, and we’ve got all of those things.
“I feel very tired straight after dialysis but the next day I’ll be in the park having a workout. It’s a way of life for me.”
For more information, the Lewisham Dialysis Centre page on GSTT's website.