COVID-19: Renal Association President’s Briefing

Dear friends and colleagues,

We are living in unprecedented times. The impact on the renal community of COVID-19 will fall disproportionately on you through leadership, need for urgent service redesign and responsibility for maintaining delivery with staffing shortages. Some of our patients will no doubt suffer severe and untimely consequences.

I recognise that clinicians and healthcare commissioners require RA support more now than ever. The RA will continue to steadfastly support you through:

  • Patient Info and Clinical advice: The RA has already provided authoritative regularly updated clinical and patient advice working with stakeholders including NHSE.
  • RA Registry is starting to  map COVID-19 infection and patient outcomes in near real time to guide clinicians on outcomes
  • The Clinical VP continues weekly RA-led stakeholder TCs sharing experience, updating guidance and engaging with NHSE/patient groups
  • Communications: Our secretariat will maintain regularly updated resources via  website, twitter @RenalAssoc and e-mail
  • Clinical Directors-the CDs can use the CD group as opportunity to share practice

It will be no surprise to you that we are exploring options for UKKW 2020 which is unlikely to proceed in June.

These are truly unbelievable times. There are 3 key areas where we are seeking system support to help renal units;

  • Rapid COVID 19 testing in dialysis patients (IP/OP) as a special case, separating suspected from infected
  • Cohorting separately of infected and suspected HD patients in dialysis areas/units (Regional collaboration and independent provider support)
  • Urgent transport solutions for infected and suspected dialysis patients.

Live donor transplantation continues on a case by case with little activity in most adult centres and deceased donor transplantation continues under review by NHSBT.

Outpatients requires adoption of remote solutions including blood taking hubs and central result oversight.

The Renal Association is strong because of its members. THE RA and whole community has always risen to challenges with real innovation and vigour and we will support all UK clinicians during the challenging times ahead through working together.

Keep well


Dr Graham Lipkin, Renal Association President