The Canterbury Renal Unit is based at Kent and Canterbury Hospital (K&C) and provides renal service for the 1.25 million population of East Kent and the Medway and Maidstone districts of West Kent. Kent and Canterbury Hospital was first established in 1793 and moved to its current site in 1937. The renal unit was built in 1971 and started to provide dialysis treatment in 1972.
There are now 368 patients on haemodialysis, nearly 72 patients on peritoneal dialysis and over 360 patients who have functioning renal transplants. In addition to a haemodialysis unit at K&C, patients are dialysed at satellites units in Margate, Medway, Maidstone, Dover and Ashford. The Home therapies team is responsible for provision of peritoneal dialysis service and runs a growing home haemodialysis programme, thus allowing a full choice of renal replacement therapies tailored to the need of individual patients. Outreach services are currently provided in Ashford, Folkestone, Margate, Maidstone, Medway and Dover. Home and community outpatient services have also been recently established.
Patients suitable for Kidney Transplant are referred to surgeons from Guy's Hospital, London, who hold weekly clinics at Kent and Canterbury Hospital. Surgery for transplant is done at Guy's Hospital after which patients are transferred back to Canterbury for further follow up.
Both the medical and nursing staff take keen interest in research and regularly present their work at international meetings. The unit is carrying out research in a number of important areas. The department has a particular interest in epidemiology of chronic kidney disease, cardiovascular disease in renal patients, and use of IT in development of protocols for improving the quality and efficiency of renal service.
There is a weekly CME meeting where journal clubs and topic teaching is used to keep junior and senior doctors abreast of the latest developments in the field of nephrology. Renal unit actively participates in teaching house officers, medical students and nurses.