PATIENTS in the north of the island who suffer from kidney failure will be treated closer to home if plans for a renal dialysis unit at Ramsey and District Cottage Hospital go-ahead.
The Department of Health has agreed in principal to establish a community renal dialysis satellite unit at the Ramsey hospital, in line with recommendations contained in the recently released document ‘A Strategic Framework for Kidney Care in the Isle of Man, 2010-2020’.
A department spokesman said there was an urgent need to expand the services provided by the existing renal unit at Noble’s Hospital due to the increasing number of patients with established renal failure, combined with demographic factors such as the predicted rise in the island’s older population.
A further factor was the necessity to provide an additional dialysis facility as part of the renal service business continuity planning.
Noble’s Hospital currently has seven dialysis stations, with approximately 1,288 patients per year. An additional 824 patients are seen each year in the community.
The proposed purpose-built unit will initially have four dialysis stations, which it is hoped will be expanded to six over time. This will increase the total number of stations on the island from seven to 13.
The new unit will enable patients with stable renal failure, requiring dialysis, to receive their treatment in a community facility designed to support these low risk patients and those with the potential to self dialyse at home.
The satellite unit would also enable the Isle of Man to offer an enhanced dialysis service to island visitors.
A feasibility study is currently taking place to assess the environmental impact of the proposed facility at Ramsey and District Cottage Hospital.
Health Minister David Anderson MHK said: ‘Due to the constant pressure on the existing dialysis service at Noble’s Hospital, it is necessary that we plan ahead in order to meet the future predicted capacity of this vital service for patients with established renal disease.
‘Much work has gone into the identification of the future requirements for the island’s Renal Service, including the planned appointment of a Consultant Nephrologist to lead the service. ‘
He added: ‘The department’s decision to develop a community renal dialysis satellite unit at RDCH will contribute greatly to relieving some of the pressures that this demanding service is experiencing.
‘It is also consistent with the department’s approach of providing services closer to the patient’s home, referred to in the recently released Strategy for the Future of Health Services in the Isle of Man.’
Janet Grib, hospital manager at Ramsey and Distict Cottage Hospital, said: ‘I am delighted with the Department of Health’s decision to locate this much-needed, predominantly nurse-led service within our community hospital at Ramsey.’
‘She added: We are looking forward to working alongside our colleagues in secondary care, in order to train our staff and to develop this specialised community service for the island’s population.’