The strategic vision for The Renal Association

Renal Association (RA) New Mission: “Improving lives by supporting professionals in the delivery of kidney care and research”

The RA role in supporting the Renal Community is particularly important at this time when we are expected to deliver greater quality care and research with less resource and under greater national assurance oversight than ever before (QST peer Review, CQC and Getting in Right First Time (GIRFT)).

As RA President responsible for the entire RA entity, which includes the Registry (Patient View and Radar) and the RA professional arm, I thank my predecessor, Donal O’Donoghue for his highly effective leadership of the RA in vital organisational and governance change. This puts the RA in a strong position to support the whole renal community in innovative service redesign, quality improvement, service delivery and research for the benefit of patients with kidney disease. I am supported by a highly motivated and effective Trustee Board, Committee Chairs and strong engagement from our membership (see organisational chart below).

New Renal Association Structure

The areas of focus of my presidency are:

  • Multi-professional Team (MPT) engagement and closer working with the BRS
  • Trainees: enhanced support for renal trainees, the future of our profession
  • Diversity: RA committees reflecting our rich membership diversity
  • Professional Development: curation of high quality online education platform
  • Quality Improvement: through the Kidney Quality Improvement Partnership (KQuIP)
  • Registry: Enhanced timely Registry support for quality improvement and research
  • Patient involvement: Patient reported outcomes, experience reporting by Registry and patient engagement in decision making
  • Research support: focused on ‘Big data’, rare renal disease opportunities and involvement of registrars and the Multi-disciplinary team
  • Communications: Getting the RA message out

The appointment of our first CEO over the whole of the RA entity and in house secretariat will support operational leadership and RA delivery. The creation of the Finance and Risk, and the Governance and Appointments Committee assures strong RA governance.

Active Developments of the Renal Association

Meeting the needs of members

Strategy Consultation: there has been a substantial response to our membership consultation and we will now approach our external stakeholders. The RA is responding, and developing a 3 year strategy, to be published in early 2019.

Corporate Engagement Strategy: Reviewing this is a key aim which the Academic VP and CEO are developing. It is in the interests of both Industry and the RA to work closely and effectively without compromising independence of the RA.

Delivering for Registrars and New Consultants

I am delighted to welcome the SpR club into the Renal Association this year. Support for the club, and trainees in education and research, as well as increasing attractiveness of the speciality to increase applications to nephrology training are planned with the Chair. The RA is keen to develop with KRUK research support for trainees along the lines of the successful STARSurg https://starsurg.org/ approach.

Professional Development

Education Platform: The RA recently acquired the education platform Moodle, and trained members in content development. This is an exciting opportunity for the renal community. An eLearning group chaired by Aine Burns is looking at developing content for the community eg UKKW summaries.

Clinical Practice Guidelines (CPG) and Patient Information (PI)

NICE-approved RA CPGs are a jewel in the crown of the RA delivery with the highest online click rate .

Mike Robson is developing an operating policy to incorporate and expand our current guidelines and commentaries.

Beccy Suckling’s patient information group, supported by Kidney Care UK have currently developed over 20 high quality PI leaflets.

Quality Improvement Support (KQuIP) and RA Regional Developments

Paul Cockwell (KQuIP Co-lead with Sharlene Greenwood, BRS) has developed and is piloting a Regional RA role in the West Midlands. Regional Networks are vital to Quality Improvement and optimal service delivery; a great opportunity to share good practice-peer assist. KQuIP is delivering in spades and has the potential to continue to bring the RA and MPT teams together to improve care.

Sign up to KQuIP:

Working with RA Partner Organisations

The RA has been service focused for many years and is keen to draw closer working relationships with the multi-professional team in line with our daily working practice.  Given limited corporate sponsorship and secretariat costs, in addition to increasing cohesive opportunities, it is economically advisable, and is good practice, to work more closely with other UK Kidney professional organisations. It is a major focus of my presidency to facilitate closer working. This aspiration is for the benefit of all UK Renal Professional Groups and for our patients.

Collaboration working with our friends in Kidney Care UK, Kidney Research UK and the National Kidney Federation are in the interests of all groups and is a key focus.

UK Kidney Week

I hope you all enjoyed UKKW in Harrogate which was widely acclaimed and a great credit to the Programme Committee, reviewers, speakers and session chairs. This is the highlight of the academic year. I am delighted that the RA has agreed with BRS to run joint conferences on a 3 year rolling basis. The programme Committee led from RA by Paul Cockwell is well advanced in developing the 2019 programme in Brighton with the BRS.

Abstract submission is open

Membership drive

It is no longer automatic to join the RA, as it was when I was appointed a renal registrar. Only half of registrars and three quarters of nephrologists are members. Ensuring relevance of the RA and good communications in order to socialise the benefits of membership to drive up numbers is a key aim.




"There lots of exciting opportunities ahead to improve UK Nephrology and the RA role. I am privileged to work with such a dynamic and effective Board, Secretariat and RA Council. Come and join the RA and help us deliver.
See you in Brighton."