World Kidney Day is a global campaign to raise awareness of the vital importance kidneys play in our health, and a great time to introduce you to our amazing Renal team at North Bristol NHS Trust. Diane Evans is one of the members of this wonderful team, and here she talks about her role as a Renal Specialist Nurse, and the Lead Nurse for the Renal Hepatitis B Vaccination Service.
“I joined North Bristol NHS Trust in July 2000, working in and later leading the Transplant Co-ordinator Nursing Team before setting up the Renal Hepatitis B Vaccination Service in 2021. The service provides Hepatitis B vaccinations for renal patients who may be on or approaching the need for dialysis or a renal transplant.
“I set up the brand new project with two-to-three months of fact finding, collaborating with the wider Renal team for input and advice. Our hospital-based haemodialysis patients were deemed to be the priority, so that we could do everything to make sure their treatment is as smooth as possible. After a successful pilot on one unit, I’m very pleased to say we are now vaccinating on all seven of the region’s haemodialysis units, with plans to expand and support the wider Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) community in clinics.
“CKD patients already face so many challenges, so being able to bring the vaccine right to them during their dialysis is my way of easing that load. I can consent and start the vaccine course on the same day, or if they need a little time to think it over we can give them this space and see them on our next visit.
“With the help of another Nurse Vaccinator who joined the project just before Christmas, we’re now up to 459 doses administered to patients across the Trust! It’s been so valuable to have another member of the team, both for patients and for me to have someone else to bounce ideas back and forth with.
“I love being out and about meeting staff and patients on the dialysis units, and we’ve been met with such gratitude. Patients really value the support we can give them and the clarity we can offer about the Hepatitis B vaccine programme.”
It’s estimated that as many as three million people in the UK have CKD, so work like Diane’s is invaluable to helping provide the best treatment we can.