Sick Children’s Hospital is second ‘home’ kids could do without

The new children's hospital opens in June
The new children's hospital opens in June
  • Glasgow is only place in Scotland children can get dialysis
  • Home haemodialysis can free youngsters from attending hospital
  • World Kidney Day aims to raise fund to buy portable machines

It offers a welcoming environment and the very best of professional care to make you feel right at ease each and every time you visit.

And the people could not be nicer...

A portable home-based therapy can be used more frequently and at times that suit the family

Kevin Hill

But for hundreds of children it is still a ‘home from home’ they would love to be able to do without.

The Royal Hospital for Sick Children at Yorkhill is the only place in Scotland where youngsters with chronic kidney disease can receive vital dialysis.

But that means they have to travel into Glasgow up to four times a week to have waste and excess fluids removed from their blood, each session lasting around four hours.

The disruption and stress it causes them and their families cannot be overstated. Some families have even moved house to be closer to the vital treatment required.

That is why national charity Kidney Kids Scotland has made it its aim this year to make a difference by raising enough by World Kidney Day on March 12 to buy at least one portable haemodialysis machine which would allow a child to be treated at home.

That would mean dialysis being given in familiar surroundings at a time that doesn’t interfere with their chance to enjoy the ‘normal’ life thousands of youngsters their age take for granted - like going to school every day, making friends in the classroom and being fully involved in school life.

Home haemodialysis is a very new and exciting form of treatment, a portable machine that families can be trained to use. Kidney Kids is already funding a machine at Yorkhill that is providing training for families home haemodialysis would benefit - but desperately wants to provide more.

The catch is they cost £14,000 each.

Kevin Hill, director of women and children’s services at NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, recognises the vital contribution Kidney Kids has made over the years.

He said: “The Royal Hospital for Sick Children at Yorkhill is one of the hospitals that benefits from its support. Kidney Kids understands children and young people living with chronic kidney disease face a lot of challenges in living a happy, healthy childhood. Conventional treatment options, such as three-times weekly haemodialysis in a hospital unit, offers huge health gains but can be hard on children who want to be at school or with their friends instead of hospital.

“However, a new development may provide treatment that offers optimal health and lifestyle benefits for some families. Home haemodialysis is a new form of treatment Kidney Kids is helping provide for children and young people who use renal services at Yorkhill.

“As a portable home-based therapy it can be used more frequently and at times that suit the family as, unlike in hospital, home patients can choose when and where they wish to do their treatments.”

Meantime, the focus of the dedicated medical staff at the Royal Hospital for Sick Children and the tireless fundraising of the Yorkhill Children’s Charity and Kidney Kids are about to write an exciting new chapter of their story.

After over 100 years at its current site, the Royal Hospital for Sick Children is on the move. This summer an £800 million build on the Southern General Hospital campus in Govan will be completed and a brand new 256-bed children’s hospital open. Linked to the refurbished maternity unit and and a new adult hospital, it will provide the best possible care for babies, children, young people and their families.

Wear yellow and blue on March 12 to support World Kidney Day. Official t-shirts can be bought for £10 each. Contact (01324) 555843 to place your order. Text SCOT34 & donation amount to 700070 to make a difference.