East's first kidney dialysis opens in housing scheme

THE first kidney dialysis unit to be based in a sheltered housing scheme in the East of England was officially opened at Attleborough on Tuesday.

THE first kidney dialysis unit to be based in a sheltered housing scheme in the East of England was officially opened at Attleborough on Tuesday.

Before the unit was installed at Wayland Court, resident Brenda Gill-Thompson, 65, had to travel to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital three times a week to have dialysis. It meant getting up at 4am in the morning and an eight-hour round trip.

But now she can have the four-hour treatment at the unit on her doorstep created from a former bedsit. And it was a chance remark she made at Christmas, by asking hospital staff whether they did home dialysis, that set the wheels in motion.

Through close partnership between the NHS, the United Norwich Kidney Patients Association and Peddars Way Housing Association the new unit - named The Thompson Suite - has now been provided at Wayland Court.


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'The real reason we are here is because of Brenda, who I think is a remarkable lady,' said Peddars Way chairman Andrew Egerton-Smith. 'She's a resident here and she's needed this dialysis for some time. It's really as a result of her initiative that this scheme has come about.'

Broadcaster Helen McDermott, patron of the United Norwich Kidney Patients Association, was invited to perform the opening ceremony.

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'Brenda said it began with a chance remark. You have managed to do it in a very short space of time to get this wonderful unit,' she told the gathering.

Judy Palmer, senior home dialysis sister at the hospital, said statistics showed overall life expectancy of patients being treated at home was greater that those who had to go to hospital for treatment. 'It's a definite plus for them,' she said.

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