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Caithness Kidney Dialysis Support Group

Caithness Community Web Site  

Health & Welfare

This Group has been set up to voice concerns from patients suffering from kidney disease in Caithness.  Caithness is in the far north of Scotland and the nearest specialist renal unit is at Raigmore Hospital in Inverness (approximately 110 miles South).    At the moment there are patients travelling from Wick to Inverness three times a week to receive haemodialysis.  There are also many patients in Caithness carrying out home dialysis.

On 14.08.01 a statement was issued from Highland Acute Hospitals NHS Trust informing the public that renal services in the Highlands were under constant review and following recent increases in the number of patients requiring dialysis, significant additional resources have been released from Highland Health Board to respond to this.   One of the options may be to provide renal dialysis in Highland hospitals other than Raigmore Hospital with Caithness General Hospital, Wick and Belford Hospital, Fort William, being given equal consideration for this.   The introduction of such a service would require careful planning as there are many issues to consider such as availability of suitability trained staff and appropriate facilities in the peripheral areas.  When a review of the options is complete it would be submitted for consideration by NHS Highland. 

28 April 2002
Sponsored Walk Has Great Turnout

About 80 people from all over Caithness  braved the slightly wet and windy weather to walk in Wick to raise some cash for the Kidney group on Sunday 28 April at 2.00pm.  They walked about to and a half miles round the outskirts of the town and back to the Youth Club for snacks, tea and coffee.

25 April 2002
New Satellite Renal Unit Confirmed For Caithness Margaret Brown, Business Manager, Richard Carey, Chief Executive and Dr. Carol Brunton , Consultant Renal Physician From Highland Acute Hospitals NHS Trust were in Wick today to speak to a public meeting and announce officially that the business plan for improved renal services in Highland had been accepted.  Part of this included a new satellite renal unit at the Caithness General hospital in Wick by January 2003.  Improvements at Raigmore were also included in the plans...................more

An Open Meeting was held on 21.2.02 in the Main Hall, Wick Youth Club at 7.30 pm.

The Chairman welcomed everyone to the meeting and gave a detailed account of the campaign so far and explained that the decision regarding a satellite renal unit in Wick should be reached at the Highland Health Board meeting on 2nd April 2002.

Following the decision at the Highland Health Board meeting it was hoped that a favourable announcement would be made at an open meeting in Caithness by Mr Richard Carey, Chief Executive, Highland Acute Hospitals Trust. The Chairman voiced that attendance at this meeting would be welcomed to show how much public support there is for a satellite renal unit. Please see the local press for details regarding this meeting.

The Chairman gave an account of the money raised so far. A total of over £8000 has been raised from over 20 donators. The Chairman thanked Mr Alan Paul, who before the meeting started tonight, donated £500.00 from the Claymore Rig, which he works on.

The Chairman informed the meeting about the sponsored walk planned for 28th April 2002 and advised that sponsor forms were available from Mrs Mhari Plowman.
5 Murray Avenue, Wick. Tel (01955) 605932

The Chairman also invited everyone to the Wick Youth Club between 2 - 4 pm on the day of the walk to support the walkers.

Latest News

11 April 06
Prize Bingo - 5 May 2006
Prize Bingo in the Francis Street Club, Wick on Friday 5th May 2006. The Prize Bingo will start at 7 pm and we are planning a raffle along with bottle stall on the same night. Hundreds of pounds of prizes are to be won! We would also be grateful for any donations possible from local businesses and general public should they wish. Any Committee members would be happy to receive donations.

18 October 04
From Sheena Craig

Finances made available from Raigmore Hospital Inverness following a meeting on Sept 14th.

Recruitment of two Nurses one E grade and one D grade to be made immediately with a view to commencing training on the 1st of January 2005.

Training will initially take place in the Wick unit with further specialist training in Inverness Renal unit.

On completion of the training it is expected that the unit, which currently opens Monday Wednesday and Friday every week will open Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.

The announcement of the expansion of services is welcomed as it was expected the unit would not extend its services until nearer the end of 2005.

The unit is currently fully operational with 8 patients receiving dialysis 3 times a week.

Unfortunately there are currently two patients travelling to Inverness 3 times a week for their treatment due to the lack of available places in at the Wick Unit.

There are other patients in Caithness on “Home Dialysis” that would make use of the Wick unit whenever it is possible..

Robert Doull
The local Kidney Dialysis Support Group welcomes very much the news that the unit will recruit staff sooner than was originally planned.  Since it’s opening in Jan 2003 the unit has made a huge impact on the lives of the patients and their families.  The quicker the staff are trained the sooner the unit will be available to the patients that are unfortunately currently travelling to Inverness.  We are also aware that there are a small number of patients in the area who would use the Wick Unit for dialysis rather than carry out their own dialysis at home.

26 March 2003
Doureay Staff Lose Weight For Dialysis Group
The floors of D1200 at Dounreay are taking less of a pounding these days thanks to the efforts of fifteen members of staff who agreed to shed some excess weight, and at the same time raise money for a good cause. The Caithness Dialysis Support Group is £1055 richer thanks to them getting a 'weight off their minds'. Our photograph shows Lyndsay Doull (left), whose father Robert is Chairman of the group, and whose mother receives dialysis treatment, receiving the cheque from Mark Whale, Janette Swanson and Stephanie Gray three of the participants.  Janette and Stephanie organised the event and Mark had a 'whale' of a time shedding the most weight.

Annual General Meeting Held 7 November 2002

12.09.02 Update so far ………
Over the last few months the Group have received many donations. We would like to thank everyone for their support which is very appreciated!!! Donations will still be very welcome after the unit has opened for upgrade of the unit and for patients carrying out dialysis at home.

The Chairman, Mr Robbie Doull has kept the Committee up-to-date with the progression of the Renal Unit Working Party. Please see the main developments below:

Staff appointments have been made and they are currently undergoing training at the Renal Unit at Raigmore Hospital.

Planning permission for the satellite Renal Unit has been granted.

G M R Henderson, Building Contractors were appointed and work has started.

The opening date for the unit was still on target for January 2003.

Over the last few months the Group have mulled over various ideas as how to spend the money received. The Group have donated the grand sum of £15, 000 to the new Renal Unit and it was hoped that the money could go towards the purchase of a dialysis machine along with a champion dialysis chair. The Chairman was to enquire as to whether any home dialysis patients in the North required assistance to purchase equipment for the home. Proposals for consideration of home equipment should be made to any of the Committee members.

The Annual General Meeting is proposed for October 2002 a year following our first meeting. Please see local press for details.

Wick Thistle FC Donation
7 March 2002

Mr Robert Doull, 10 Murray Avenue, Wick, Tel:  (01955) 605458
Mr Eann Plowman, 5 Murray Avenue, Wick,Tel:  (01955) 605932
Mrs Swati Datta, 17 Newton Avenue, Wick,  Tel:  (01955) 605739
Mrs Kirsteen Mackay, Bucholie, Thura Mains, Bower, Tel:  (01955) 641453
Mrs Mhari Plowman, 5 Murray Avenue, Wick, Caithness.  Tel:  (01955) 605932
Mrs Ruth Ferguson, 21 Huddart Street, Wick, Caithness.  Tel:  (01955) 602034
Miss Fiona Harper, 7 Grant Street, Wick, Caithness.  Tel:  (01955) 605547
Ms Francis Purves, 3 Robert Street, Wick, Caithness.  Tel:  (01955) 604720
Mrs Jackie Mackay, 3 Smith Terrace, Wick, Caithness.  Tel:  (01955) 605342


A Committee meeting was held on 28.1.02. The Chairman gave a detailed account of all donations received. Fund raising ideas were discussed. A sponsored walk will be held on Sunday 28th April 2002.

Mrs Sheena Craig, Directorate General Manager, Caithness General Hospital was invited to the meeting to give an update on the situation so far regarding a satellite renal unit in Wick. Please see below the information she gave:

What has been done so far

ü January - Outline Business Case sent to the NHS Highland Board for comment and feedback

ü 23rd January - Acute Trust Executive Group met to prioritise all the business cases received to date. Renal services recognised as a service pressure that is affecting the trust now and accorded a very high priority.

Next Stages

ü 12th February - Prioritised business cases from both acute and primary care to go to the NHS Highland Improving Health Services Committee. Part of the Improving Health Services Committee’s responsibility is “to identify those areas of the Health Service in Highland that are a priority for improvement, development and modernisation, prioritise these and recommend to the Board for inclusion in the Health Plan”

ü 2nd April - NHS Highland Board meets. One of the specific responsibilities of the Board is “to develop and agree the Highland Health Plan”

ü April - Public meeting in Caithness to inform the public what is proposed and likely timescales (date to be finalised)

In The Meantime

ü A site has been identified within CGH for a dialysis unit (preliminary plans and costs completed)

ü Staff have been invited to express an interest in undertaking specialist training to work in the dialysis unit (several staff have expressed an interest)

ü Ongoing discussion with the Sister in the Renal unit at Raigmore in relation to the training programme and potential start dates (6 month training programme required with staggered start times - most likely to be about June / July)

An Open meeting is going to be held on Thursday 21st February 2002 in the Main Hall, Wick Youth Club at 7:30pm. The Committee would be grateful for any support that can be given. The meeting is to keep the public up-to-date with the campaign so far.

Volunteers as walkers and sponsors would be very much appreciated for the sponsored walk, which will be held on Sunday 28th April 2002. Details of distance and route to follow will be given at this meeting, but it will be around the Wick area.

A Committee meeting was held and confirmation of the Office Bearers was made.   The draft constitution was distributed and discussed.  Confirmation of the constitution would be made on Friday 30th November 2001. 
The Chairman gave an update on the facts of the campaign so far.   Ms Mary Scanlon, MSP had received correspondence from Mr Richard Carey, Chief Executive, Highland Acute Hospitals NHS Trust indicating that early constraints had ruled out a satellite renal unit in Fort William and that Caithness was a more likely site.   The draft report would now be due in December and the official report would be available in January 2002.   The Chairman gave a detailed account of all donations received.   The accounts so far were handed over to the Treasurer.   Fundraising ideas were discussed in detail. 
It was decided that a meeting should be held in January following the announcement of the decision regarding a satellite renal unit in Wick.  A Committee meeting will be held prior to an open meeting on the same evening.   

An open meeting was held for members of the public to voice their concerns over the wellbeing of kidney dialysis patients in Caithness.   Concerns were voiced from patients from Caithness having to travel to Inverness for haemodialysis three times a week and about the necessity for guidance and support for patients carrying out home dialysis.
The group was given the name Caithness Kidney Dialysis Support Group.  The status of the group was discussed and it was decided that the group should be formal with constitution and charitable status.   A constitution was to be drafted and confirmed at a later meeting.  The Committee was compiled from volunteers and it was confirmed that the Office Bearers be chosen from the Committee. 
Funding of the Group was discussed and it was decided that monies would be spent on anything relating to patient needs.  This may include equipment, financial assistance, staff training, facilities etc.  Some donations had been promised to the Group and the Wick Players had agreed to give a donation to the Group from their Christmas Pantomime.  The group had received some donations already and it was decided to open a bank account with a local building society. 
It was confirmed that a draft report would be issued mid November from the Highland Acute Hospitals NHS trust and a decision regarding a satellite renal unit in Wick would be reached by the end of December 2001.   Consideration was also being made for Fort William to have a satellite renal unit but it was stated that only satellite unit would go ahead.   Publicity for the Group was discussed and the praise of good publicity by local press and television was made.  It was decided that national publicity should be put on hold until the decision regarding a unit in Wick was made.  


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