29 Sept 2022

Renal Unit at Derry Hospital celebrates the success of shared care programme

Pic 1 Renal Shared Services Altnagelvin Hospital
The Renal Unit at Altnagelvin Hospital is celebrating the success of a new programme that allows patients to participate in their own care. The Western Trust was the first HSC Trust in Northern Ireland to offer SharedHD to patients and joined a UK quality improvement SharedHD collaborative in 2018. SharedHD seeks to transform the relationship between the haemodialysis patient and the dialysis staff who provide the care to promote an environment where participation and partnership is the norm. Dr Agnes Masengu, Renal Consultant for the Western Trust explains: “Shared Haemodialysis Care (SharedHD) is an initiative in which hospital haemodialysis patients are supported by their dialysis staff to become as involved as they wish in their own care. Its ethos is to engage and empower our patients to be partners in their dialysis therapy, encouraging patients to take an interest in their health and treatments and promoting a more positive feeling towards their dialysis. Patients are invited to participate in a variety of tasks which they are trained to do by their dialysis nurse or dialysis assistant until they are deemed competent to perform them independently. These tasks can range from weighing oneself, checking ones blood pressure or doing the 7 steps of handwashing to more complex tasks like preparing the dialysis machine, inserting their own dialysis needles or connecting their own dialysis line, to administering medications on dialysis. Patients are encouraged to do as little or as much as they like and can train at their own individual pace. They can also take a break from participation at any point. The benefits of SharedHD for patients include having the choice of participating in their treatment, greater confidence, a sense of control of their condition, and better physical and mental health and well-being. At present, there are 110 patients under-taking hospital based dialysis in the Western Trust. Fifty-seven of these patients are undertaking at least one task and 21 individuals are undertaking at least 5 tasks. There is a ShareHD steering committee on both the Altnagelvin Hospital and Omagh Hospital Renal Unit sites consisting of key nurses, doctors and two patient representatives. The two teams meet every 6-8 weeks locally and also attend meetings in Manchester and Leeds as part of the national collaborative quality improvement project. Feedback from our patients regarding why they participate in the ShareHD programme have been very positive. Comments include: “I feel a sense of accomplishment working alongside my nursing team!” “I can’t believe what I have achieved, this has been a most enjoyable experience and I’ve increased my confidence and understanding of my dialysis treatment!” “I feel more involved in my care. Super staff!!” “I get away earlier! Independence.” “At first I thought “what’s the point?” Now I enjoy it and feel part of the team” “The “craic” is mighty! Brilliant!” Dr Masengu concluded: “Practical support from the dialysis unit nurse managers, the dialysis unit nurses and assistants, the determination of the dedicated SharedHD nurses, and patient ambition and enthusiasm have helped make this programme a success. As a team, we are most proud of seeing our patient’s progress from total dependence to taking part in some aspect of their care and seeing them develop and grow in their skills, courage and confidence.”

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