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National Innovation Award for Renal Team

Renal award

The dialysis team at the Department of Renal Medicine at Manchester Royal Infirmary has been awarded the top prize of £100,000 in the Department of Health's Innovation Challenge. 

The prize was awarded for the innovative approach to dialysis care designed and adopted by Consultant Nephrologist Dr Sandip Mitra (Programme Lead) and his multi-disciplinary team.  The team has developed a home haemodialysis programme which enables and trains patients to dialyse at home.  Patients who choose to go on the programme undergo training at their own pace so that they are fully prepared and confident from the outset.  The training programme is led by Sister Gillian Dutton.

Launched five years ago, the programme has demonstrated significant benefits both in outcomes, patient experience, efficiency and cost savings.  Patients are able to live a more normal life, free from having to travel into hospital several times a week to dialyse. Flexible and often longer dialysis results in better outcomes and a significant improvement to their wellbeing.

Patient David Coyle said:  "The result is a very noticeable increase in energy levels and general wellbeing.  The quality of life I enjoy now is as close to having a real kidney as it is possible to get and I strongly recommend it to all haemodialysis patients."

So far, 180 patients have been trained up to dialyse at home.  Cost savings are estimated to be in the region of £1 million a year. 

The Challenge is designed to recognise and reward innovative ideas created by NHS staff through open competition.  All ideas are put through a rigorous selection process and judged by an independent expert panel and the Department of Health. 

The award has been acknowledged by Health Ministers Simon Burns and Lord Howe who said they were impressed by the work of the MRI renal team.

Health Secretary Andrew Lansley said that the initiative "powerfully demonstrates how patients can benefit when you give freedom and power to those on the frontline who know best how to improve services for patients."

The innovation has also attracted the attention of both national and local media including The Guardian, Nursing Standard, BBC North West Tonight and Granada Reports, featuring interviews with Dr Sandip Mitra, Sister Dutton, and patient David Coyle.  This highly acclaimed project also scooped a prestigious NICE award earlier this year.2011.

Dr Mitra said:  "We are delighted to receive this award and dedicate it to all our patients and nursing staff who have made that extra commitment to transform patient lives on dialysis."