Support for kidney patients

What support do I receive as a kidney patient?

We understand how challenging living with kidney disease can be and so we provide our kidney patients with the support of a specialist team of dieticians and psychologists, as well as advice and support on your kidney disease medication.

What is the right diet for kidney disease? Tailored advice from our renal dieticians

Our renal dieticians offer tailored advice to patients with chronic kidney disease. They are trained to advise you on the best dietary changes to help manage your condition and this is based around the foods that you already regularly eat.

Your renal dietician will take into account relevant blood results, symptoms and a number of other factors when considering appropriate dietary advice.

We have a range of diet sheets available and your dietician will provide you with the most appropriate ones in line with your individual needs. Caution should be taken when seeking advice on a diet for kidney disease from the internet as often the information can be conflicting and may not be appropriate.

Living with kidney disease: speak to one of our specialist psychologists

The Royal Free London renal psychology service is renowned for helping kidney patients who need psychological support relating to living with kidney disease, such as help with:

  • adjusting to or accepting your kidney problems
  • making difficult treatment choices like whether to have dialysis or a transplant
  • difficulties with taking medications and following medical advice
  • adapting to treatments like kidney dialysis or a kidney transplant
  • stress and mood issues arising from changes in your health.

We also provide in-depth psychological assessment for those being considered for kidney transplant and for altruistic kidney donors.

Personal and practical advice from the Citizens Advice Bureau

The citizens advice bureau gives advice and support on a wide range of issues – personal, emotional and practical to both patients and their families at any stage of kidney disease. This can be from initial diagnosis through dialysis, kidney transplant, conservative management and palliative care.

Our main aim is to support our kidney patients and help ensure they have relevant information that can address issues of concern arising from their illness and treatment.

Royal Free London pharmacy support with medication for kidney disease

The Royal Free pharmacy has a key role in supporting patients with their medication for kidney disease, especially as kidney patients often require a large number of medications.

  • We help with compliance aids that serve as a prompt on when patients should take medications.
  • As experts in medications, we liaise with our renal doctors, nurses and dieticians to ensure patients get the right medications at the right dose. We advise on drug interactions, dose adjustments tailored to kidney patients and offer recommendations on the best treatment available.
  • We provide individually tailored medication counselling service for all our patients to ensure they are knowledgeable about their medications.
  • We are involved in the training and education of healthcare professionals with regards to medications specific to kidney patients.
  • We are involved in discharge planning and dispense TTAs (to take away medications) for patients discharged from 10 South and 10 East in a timely manner.
  • We liaise with GPs to communicate changes made to medications during an in-patient stay.
  • We assist in the formulation and review of medication guidelines and protocols in accordance with the recommendations from national guidelines.
  • We look after the external dialysis units, organising the supply and delivery of medications for the units and the patients.