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23rd September 2022 Kidney Disease

Holiday dialysis gives kidney patients a break

Dialysis nurses

South Australian dialysis patients and their families have been able to enjoy a holiday while still accessing their regular treatment through an important initiative by the Rural Support Service, supported by The Hospital Research Foundation Group.

The Rural Support Service Health Mobile Dialysis Unit, known by staff and patients as “The Truck” recently spent two weeks based at Loxton where it is providing short-term respite dialysis to South Australians taking a break from their usual routine.

The Truck has recently been located at the Big4 Loxton Riverfront Holiday Park where staff from the Royal Adelaide Hospital, Lyell McEwen Hospital, The Queen Elizabeth Hospital and Riverland General Hospital provided dialysis to more than a dozen patients.

People on dialysis rely on treatment three times a week, every week of the year, making travel a challenge.

Funding from The Hospital Research Foundation Group has made the Loxton dialysis holiday program possible, giving patients the freedom to travel to the town and enjoy themselves in the town and nearby area while receiving their treatment.

Renal Dialysis Nurse Amy Fitzgerald said taking the truck on the road and maximising its use is very satisfying for the staff involved.

“We receive a lot of feedback from patients about what it means to them to be able to get away and they really appreciate the service we provide,” Amy said.

Dialysis patient Jenny Knight was also very grateful for the service.

“I was a bit reserved about travelling but the nurses were terrific to me and we appreciate them for being so accommodating to our schedule,” Jenny said.

“It is difficult while being on dialysis to go on holidays but knowing that there are opportunities such as the truck gives us options should we want to holiday again in the future.”

Paul Flynn, CEO of The Hospital Research Foundation Group, was proud to be supporting this important project to improve wellbeing, provide respite and reduce the sense of isolation for people undergoing dialysis and their carers.

“There are over 1000 people in South Australia currently undertaking dialysis to treat their kidney disease, which hampers their ability to travel. The Truck helps people enjoy a break while still being able to access their regular dialysis treatment – even a short holiday can have a huge impact on a person’s quality of life,” Paul said.

“The Hospital Research Foundation Group is committed to supporting regional health services across South Australia, with this project funded through a larger $100,000 grant to the Rural Support Service.”