Swindon renal unit

Welcome to our second Newsletter designed to keep our renal people informed via handy hints and suggestions plus current policies being implemented by Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals NHS Trust. NHS FUNDED TRANSPORT

Please can all patients who currently make use of hospital funded transport use the
service in an appropriate way. It is NOT a personal taxi service and is provided for
the benefit of all our eligible renal patients.
Patients should be aware that they may have to wait for other patients to finish their
dialysis treatment before hospital transport will take them home. The renal unit also
shares hospital transport provision with The Great Western so there may be other non-
renal patients making use of the same car service.
It is NOT appropriate for patients to send drivers to collect items or to perform other
chores including being dropped off at various non-home addresses on an individual


Please could all patients with this type of access regularly check their fistulas to make
sure there is a pulse (should feel like a buzzing sensation on touch). Grafts are slightly
harder to feel but the unit or access team can provide patients with stethoscopes so
you can “hear” the fistula/graft. Staff will instruct you on how to do this. It is vitally
important that you check your access as once a fistula has failed there is only a very
short time in which to salvage it and it does mean an admission to Oxford for de-
Check AV Fistula/Graft twice a day ideally morning and evening.
If you are worried that the access has failed or seems weaker please ring the Swindon
Renal unit within their operating hours or if out of hours ring the renal ward at The
Churchill Hospital. (See end of Newsletter for contact numbers).
Please find attached sheets at the back of this newsletter.
Individual letters will be sent out during the first week of December and there is a
schedule list on the notice-board in the patient waiting/reception area.

Would all patients who utilise the Patient-line service please ensure that they SIGN
at the end of their treatment sessions. (Ring customer services and listen to
automated message then press 4 this will discontinue the service). The TV sets should
then be turned OFF before patients leave their bed/chair. This will help the renal unit
conserve energy and also help to preserve our current free patient-line service.
Please could all patients who wish to use patient line bring in their own set of
headphones this will help with infection control issues and short supplies of
replacement head sets. Once our existing stock is used up these will not be replaced.

The renal unit is an out-patient facility and our consumption of laundry is now
becoming a prohibitive cost for The Great Western and we have been asked to cut
back on consumption if possible.
From January 2008 can patients bring in their own blankets – these only need to be
light-weight. We will not be providing blankets from that date unless there is a
clinical/nursing indication to do so.
If lockers are not available then the blankets can be stored in bags or brought in for
each session. The renal unit staff will endeavour to find some space for blankets that
cannot be brought in each time by certain patients.
New patients attending the Swindon Renal Unit can find out more about SKPA
fundraising and membership via their website: www.skpa.org.uk

This perennial patient favourite is still top of the list as the most likely medication
patients do not take correctly or if at all.
It is appreciated that they are rather like horse pills but if they are not taken or taken in
a way that renders them in-active this has long term implications for the management
of your renal care. So please – take your binders especially now the festive season is
Please ask a member of staff or Jane the dietician if you need any information or
advice on diet and phosphate/calcium medication.

This is still the number-one favourite with renal patients. It is also very difficult to
maintain the correct fluid restriction with so many tempting drinks and tasty morsels
at ones’ fingertips, particularly now Christmas and New Year are on the horizon.
All the dialysis staff do their very best to remove fluid via the haemodialysis session
but would like to remind all patients that what goes through the lips marches to feet,
ankles, legs and lower back and can cause breathlessness as the lungs fill with excess
As with all aspects of dialysis treatment we try to be realistic when monitoring fluid
intake for renal patients. However it is the responsibility of each one of you to try and
make a conscious effort to restrict fluids to the required allowance set by the medical
and nursing staff.
Excess fluid can make people feel very unwell and in the long term will cause damage
to the heart. In some cases fluid overload can be fatal.
Fluid allowance is over a 24hr period and is inclusive of any form of liquid ranging
from water to soups and yoghourts. If you are a beer/lager fan then think about
changing to “shorts”.
Most fruit and vegetables contain fluid in some form so this must be taken into
consideration within your allowance. You need to watch out for the Christmas Puds
and cakes as these are very high in potassium so be sensible and moderate intake.
If you are unsure as to what fluid restriction you should be on or need advice about
which foods contain fluid (most do) then please ask a member of staff or arrange to
see Jane our Dietician.
We hope you find this newsletter useful and would appreciate any comments.

Monday to Saturday 0700 – 1900hrs
Telephone Number Haemodialysis Unit : 01793 - 605286
Telephone Number for Clinic enquiries: 01793 605291
Telephone Number for CAPD: 01793 605288
Patients who need to contact the renal unit outside these hours should ring
The Churchill Hospital on 01865 741841 and ask for the Renal Ward.

Source: http://www.skpa.org.uk/SKPA/Downloads/Newsletter2.pdf

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