Renal unit celebrates 50 years of care

The original renal unit was opened in 1968 by the President of the Renal Association, Professor MD Milne​. Today, staff and patients both past and present came to celebrate its progress

UHNM's renal department celebrated its 50-year anniversary today. Patients, staff and visitors came to learn about the history of the service and the progress that has been made since its inauguration in 1968. Since then the service has been developed extensively and now provides care for 850 dialysis and transplant patients, many in their own homes. Patients coming into hospital are cared for in a bespoke and integrated kidney unit, haemodialysis unit and renal ward on the Royal Stoke site.

Dr Dominic de Takats, Consultant Renal Physician and Clinical Lead, said: "Our first unit was really quite a modest affair on the old Royal Infirmary site.  It had just a few dialysis machines and patients were treated in fairly cramped conditions.  Fortunately, the unit was supported by enthusiastic doctors, nurses and technicians, whose dedication and commitment helped get the unit to where it is today. Over time the clinical need to support patients with dialysis vastly outgrew our initial provision. At the Royal Infirmary we expanded into portacabins and refurbished space, but when the new hospital was built it was possible to build the wonderful new unit we have today. This was opened formally on 30th November 2012 by Professor Gavin Russell and has made an immense difference to both patients and staff. Better facilities mean better care and this is absolutely fundamental to improving a patient's quality of life, not to mention improving the working environment for our staff."

In addition to the unit at the hospital, the Trust has also opened two satellite units in Stafford and in Crewe through external provision.

Dr de Takats said: "Many more patients are now given access to dialysis or transplantation and the unit has powerful research credentials, led by Professor Simon Davies. People cared for at UHNM now have a service to be proud of and we are looking forward to developing it even further over the next 50 years."