Patients with kidney conditions treated at Basildon and Thurrock University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust will benefit from a new ultrasound scanner, thanks to joint funding from the British Kidney Patient Association (BKPA).
The £29,000 machine produces highly accurate images in less time than the previous ultrasound scanner in the renal unit, enabling the Trust to offer kidney biopsies to more patients. The increased accuracy also makes it easier to locate the kidney with the biopsy needle. This reduces complications sometimes caused by the procedure, meaning fewer patients have to stay overnight in hospital afterwards.
A further advantage for some kidney patients is that the old scanner on the renal unit was not sufficiently high-resolution to take images of people with high waist measurements. These patients had to attend the radiology department, which caused further delays in their treatment.
Patients at both Basildon and Orsett hospitals will benefit from the improved renal service, as the laptop-sized scanner is easily portable and will be used in clinics at the two sites.
The scanner was bought with the help of a £15,000 grant from the BKPA, a national charity which works to improve the quality of life for adults and children with kidney disease.
On Tuesday 13 November Rosemary Macri, Chief Executive of the BKPA, visited the Trust to see the new ultrasound scanner in action. Dr Stephen Morgan, Medical Director and Renal Consultant, thanked the association on behalf of the Trust, and introduced her to staff and patients on the unit.
Dr Georgia Winnett, Renal Consultant at the Trust, wrote a business case for the purchase of the Sonosite M-Turbo scanner, outlining the benefits it would bring to patients, and applied for funding from the BKPA.
Rosemary Macri said: "When the BKPA trustees read the application, we immediately saw how much it would benefit patients, and we are very pleased to have helped."
Dr Winnett added: "We are extremely grateful to the BKPA for their support, and thrilled that we have this fantastic scanner which will make a real difference to the care and treatment of so many of our patients."
Rosemary met renal patient Margaret Gladwin, 78, who attends Basildon Hospital for dialysis three times a week. Margaret had a fistula procedure carried out on the renal ward using the new scanner. She said: "My care here is wonderful, and all the staff are lovely. In the seven years I have been coming to this hospital, everyone has always been so nice – it’s like a family."