Chronic kidney disease is common affecting up to 7% of the population. Kidney disease is more common in the elderly, in people with diabetes mellitus or high blood pressure and SE Asian or Afro-Caribbean populations. In its most severe form, treatment by dialysis or a kidney transplant is required and there are nearly 60,000 people in the UK receiving such treatment. There are approximately 6,000 people in the UK waiting for a kidney transplant.
The John Walls Renal Unit at Leicester’s Hospitals treats people with kidney disease from all of Leicestershire & Rutland (as well as people from Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire and Cambridgeshire). They look after nearly 1,000 people who need dialysis and around 1,200 that have had a kidney transplant.
As well as caring for patients, the John Walls Renal Unit is involved in research into kidney disease working closely with the University of Leicester and Loughborough University. Some of this research is in laboratories and some of it is working with patients. Although the NHS provides excellent clinical facilities, there is always the need for additional equipment to help improve the quality of care for kidney patients.
All this is supported by funding raised through the Kidney Care Appeal. The Appeal, launched in 2005, has raised over £300,000 to date to support kidney patients and research.