On 27th November, 58 delegates from across the UK met for a one-day conference entitled ‘Dialysis – getting the right balance’ at the Will’s Memorial Building, University of Bristol. Attendees included kidney health professionals, academics, primary care and palliative physicians, ethicists, patient and public representatives, health economists, public health professionals, service providers and commissioners. By bringing together a diverse group with a shared interest in improving NHS kidney care, the conference aimed to generate recommendations for the organisational changes, research and resources needed to reduce over- and under-provision of dialysis.
The conference, which was guided by the views and voices of people living with kidney disease, included presentations, a short play based on a patient interview, interactive activities and a debate. A pre-conference survey, completed by 263 people, provided issues considered important to ensure dialysis isn’t under- or over-provided within the NHS. On the morning of the conference delegates identified and sorted these issues into five main themes. After lunch, these themes were debated in small groups to provide recommendations considered essential for the balanced provision of dialysis. The day culminated with a keynote lecture from Hilary Bekker, Professor of Medical Decision Making at the University of Leeds, entitled: ‘Helping people make balanced dialysis decisions’. A full report detailing the pre-conference questionnaire findings and recommendations will be published in collaboration with the organisations that supported the event.
The event was co-developed by three researchers: Dr Barny Hole, Dr Anna Winterbottom and Dr Lucy Selman from the universities of Leeds and Bristol. We are grateful to The Bioethics, Biolaw & Biosociety Research Strand of the Elizabeth Blackwell Institute, University of Bristol for funding the event, and to Kidney Care UK and the National Institute for Health Research for funding the associated costs of attendance for some of our patient and public representatives. We wish to express our gratitude to all those who completed the pre-conference survey and/or attended the conference. We also wish to thank the organisations who supported our event: The Renal Association, The British Renal Society, Kidney Research UK, Kidney Care UK and the National Kidney Federation. If you would like more information about the event or the upcoming report, please contact: [email protected] or [email protected].