Newcastle's Dialysis Unit celebrates 40 years at Freeman Hospital

Staff on the haemodialysis unit (Ward 31) threw a party to celebrate the 40th anniversary of providing dialysis at Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital.

When the unit first opened in 1978, forty patients received their treatment in a single, 10 station facility. Since then, the service has grown to provide life-saving treatment to hundreds of patients with kidney failure in a state of the art, purpose built dialysis unit at the Freeman Hospital's Renal Services Centre, as well as our satellite dialysis units at North Shields and Alnwick.

Patient Geoffrey Stokoe and staff on the haemodialysis ward celebrate 40th anniversary of the unit

Dr Kanagasundaram, Consultant Nephrologist and Haemodialysis Lead said: “Renal Services in Newcastle has a long and proud history of treating patients from across the region and further afield, allowing thousands of patients with many different types of kidney disease to regain their health and wellbeing.

“Particular highlights have included:

- the first description of aluminium bone disease in dialysis patients (so called ‘Newcastle Bone Disease’) that led to improved dialysis water standards and benefitting patients across the world

- the first use of single-needle dialysis (‘click-clack’ dialysis) that allowed people with poor vascular access to be dialysed, successfully

- Newcastle’s recognition as a centre of excellence for patients with genetic and immune-mediated kidney diseases – this has culminated in the service’s successful nomination as the UK’s National Centre for Complement Therapeutics, managing the treatment of patients across the country with the potentially devastating kidney condition, ‘atypical HUS’.

Staff on the haemodialysis unit (Ward 31) celebrate the 40th anniversary of providing dialysis at Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital

He added: “The technology and treatments we now use for our dialysis patients have changed beyond recognition since dialysis first started in Newcastle but one thing that the renal team shares in common with the first dialysis pioneers in Newcastle, is the desire to place our patients at the centre of all that we do.

"I would also like to expressed my gratitude to Matron Julia Ibbotson and Mrs. Joanne Ridden for all their hard work in getting the celebratory events off the ground and making these such a great success.”

Here's to many more decades of providing outstanding renal services to our dialysis patients.

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