Page last updated at 19:23 GMT, Thursday, 19 November 2009

Kidney patients treat themselves

The Royal Cornwall Hospital has begun teaching kidney patients to treat themselves in its renal unit.

Sixty-five patients regularly visit the hospital for dialysis and one-in-five had been taught to "self care".

The hospital said it gave the patients more freedom to choose when they wanted to attend dialysis sessions.

Renal Unit manager, Simeon Edwards, said it also helped staff moral seeing patients who were keen to help themselves.

'Regain control'

He said: "The patients are coming in three times a week, it's very stressful for them and they can in most cases feel like they're losing control.

"The self-care model offers them choice and gives them the opportunity to regain some of that control."

Heather Hallett from Camborne, has been treated for kidney failure for ten years. She has had two transplants but still needed dialysis.

She was taught to deliver her own dialysis and agreed that it gave her more independence.

"It helps me get out of here [the unit] a little bit faster and I feel like I'm contributing to the nurses not having to run around so much."

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