Patients, staff and members of the public are invited to have their say on an exciting new proposal to improve kidney care in the area, including plans to build a new £80 million specialist unit.

The local NHS will be asking for feedback through an online questionnaire, community outreach, two virtual public events and social media. More information is available on a new website www.swlondonccg.nhs.uk/renal which launched on 27 July.

Instead of continuing to have inpatient kidney care at two hospitals, clinicians would like to bring more specialist care together in a single new £80 million unit at the St George’s Hospital site in Tooting.

The new unit would provide care for kidney patients on long-term dialysis who become ill and need to stay in hospital, and for patients who need more complex care such as a kidney transplant or surgery. 

The vast majority (95%) of kidney services will remain where they are. There will be no changes to existing dialysis services and the significant majority of clinics in local hospitals, units or at home.

Dr Fiona Harris, Consultant Nephrologist and Joint Clinical Director of Renal Services at Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust said: “We are absolutely committed to providing our kidney patients with the very best care, treatment and support. Our proposal will create a brand new unit, with all the expert staff on hand 24/7, providing specialist care to our sickest patients.

“The proposal will also allow us to strengthen our kidney services in our local hospitals, clinics and at home, which is where our patients get the majority of their care.” 

Professor Debasish Banerjee, Consultant Nephrologist and Professor of Clinical Practice for Renal Medicine at St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “The proposed new unit is a great example of the power of joining up NHS expertise in the interests of our patients. Having this level of support in one place will reduce waiting time for accessing specialist support. This not only is better clinically, it reduces stress for patients and their families. The new unit will also help us attract and keep the experts we need, and connect patients with the latest kidney research and treatment.”

The kidney clinicians put forward this new proposal in 2020 when the NHS approved plans to build a new Specialist Emergency Care Hospital in Sutton. This means from 2026, all kidney inpatient care will move from St Helier to this new hospital. While this will improve care for kidney patients, leading kidney clinicians say their proposal will make care even better.