Chronic kidney disease is a common condition affecting 10% of the population. If it is caught early, treatment can prevent or delay its progression. However advanced forms can require intensive treatments, such as dialysis, and may be life threatening. Symptoms are difficult to detect. Many people are not diagnosed at all or are diagnosed too late to avoid severe complications.
The project aimed to improve the early detection and treatment for Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) within primary care. In particular, it worked to build knowledge and understanding among primary care staff about best practice in managing chronic kidney disease and to ensure that it is implemented.
The project targeted medical practitioners through a care bundle (a set of interventions). The clinical elements of the bundle were based on NICE (National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence) and SIGN (Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network) guidelines.
Whereas care bundles are common in secondary care, they are novel in primary care. The care bundle used for the project contained a strong focus on patient self-management; a variety of materials and activities were developed to support this, such as an information pack which included a DVD, facilitated patient discussions and focus groups for patients. Training and support was provided to GP practices to implement the care bundle and measure its impact as well as to support practices to enable self-care in their patients.
The team was led by Dr Kevin Harris, Associate Medical Director and Honorary Consultant Nephrologist at the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust. The project ran in partnership with organisations around the UK including the Kidney Alliance, the British Renal Society, the Renal Association and Heart UK.