A NEW state-of-the-art renal unit has opened at Frimley Park Hospital making inpatient kidney care available locally for the first time.

The eight-bed unit enables hospital patients to receive dialysis treatment onsite rather than being transferred to another facility, as has been the case in the past.

The nearest specialist renal care hub was formally St Helier Hospital in south-west London while stable patients faced ambulance journeys to Farnborough or Basingstoke.

Frimley Health launched the new renal unit in partnership with St Helier Hospital, which already had outpatient renal clinics at Frimley.

Dr David Evans, one of the four St Helier consultant nephrologists (kidney specialists) supporting the unit, said: “Frimley is a large, acute hospital with services such as acute cardiology, a hyper-acute stroke unit and vascular surgery, meaning its population has an increased risk of requiring renal services which the trust was keen to provide in a more patient-centred fashion.

“This local satellite renal unit enables seven-day specialist renal care without the need for transfer to St Helier.”

Although the unit primarily provides inpatient haemodialysis, the most common form of dialysis, further renal services are expected to be developed over time, including renal biopsies.

Dialysis involves filtering waste products and fluids from a patient’s blood when their kidneys are not functioning properly.

Matron Phillipa Rodwell, responsible for recruiting the unit’s nursing team, said: “The new renal unit here at Frimley Park Hospital is great news for our patients who need haemodialysis treatment. Whether they come to hospital with an acute kidney injury, or are an inpatient who also has chronic renal issues, we can now meet their dialysis needs here.

“If, for example, a patient arrives with a broken hip but also has a chronic kidney condition, the hospital can dialyse them and meet their orthopaedic needs, all under one roof.”

“Dialysing patients at Frimley instead of transferring them to a centre a considerable distance away vastly improves the patient experience and makes it easier for their relatives to visit them.”