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Pat lobbied for dialysis unit she now uses

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Pat lobbied for dialysis unit she now uses

Monday 8 September 2014 Tairawhiti District Health

Pat Middlemiss is one patient who is very grateful dialysis treatment is now available in Gisborne. After years of peritoneal dialysis and then home haemodialysis with the help of her husband Dave, things changed in November 2013.

“My husband’s health be-came poor and he needed major orthopaedic surgery. This meant he was unable to help me with my home dialysis for a few months while he recuperated from surgery. Then in the lead up to the surgery Dave had a heart attack. This made his recovery much longer. In July this year Dave took off overseas for a much needed holiday.”

“Before the dialysis unit opened, I would have had to spend six months or more living in Waikato to receive my haemodialysis there. Otherwise Dave would have had to compromise his recovery and keep helping me at home. I am 70 years old. I can’t imagine what it would have been like to pack up and move to Hamilton again for that length of time,” says Pat.

I spent quite a bit of time in Hamilton when we were learning how to do the home haemodialysis. It was around this time that Dave and I, along with a number of other people, started writing letters to the editor and lobbying Anne Tolley about the need for a dialysis unit in Gisborne.”

Pat’s story is just one from the 52 people who have received treatment in the dialysis unit. Since it opened two years ago, permanent dialysis patients like Pat, home haemo patients receiving treatment, patients awaiting haemodialysis training or peritoneal-dialysis training and people from other areas visiting Gisborne, have all benefited.

“Before the dialysis unit opened, patients had to go to Waikato to receive dialysis or train to do it in their own homes,” says registered nurse Emma Mullooly. Some patients who did not have the appropriate support could not do home haemodialysis so had to remain in Waikato. The opening of the dialysis unit gave patients’ options. It meant that they could come home to Gisborne to their support systems and still receive the care they needed.

The dialysis team works closely with the Regional Renal Team at Waikato Hospital. Visiting Renal Physician, Dr Gerald Waters, is impressed with the professionalism and standard of care Tairawhiti staff provide to patients. “The dialysis unit has transformed locally-based renal services. The team is passionate and highly skilled and now works in close conjunction with Dr Richard Moore. Their partnership approach to patient management with the Regional Renal Team is a model for integrated shared care of a complex group of patients with high health needs,” says Peter Sizeland, Waikato Renal Physician. ENDS

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