Evaluation of telephone clinic service for patients with chronic kidney disease

Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a long-term condition that requires patients to have regular hospital appointments. All patients with chronic kidney disease under the care of North Bristol NHS Trust’s renal unit are currently seen in face-to-face clinics and travel from a large geographical area. A significant proportion of these patients, who have stable kidney disease but need continued specialist monitoring, could potentially be managed through telephone consultations. Telephone clinics have been used successfully to manage patients with other long-term conditions such as heart failure, rheumatoid arthritis, and diabetes.

This study will investigate the possibility of moving from face-to-face clinics, mainly conducted by doctors, to nurse-led telephone clinics. Patients who are judged suitable for telephone clinics by their specialist kidney doctors will be offered a telephone clinic appointment during which their symptoms, blood test results and blood pressure measurements will be discussed and advice given.

The study will compare patients who continue to have all their appointments at face-to-face clinics, with those that have alternate telephone clinic and face-to-face clinic appointments. We will compare patient satisfaction, symptoms and quality of life between the two groups of patients, as well as clinician and nurse satisfaction, and hospital benefits.

Project aims

This study aims to evaluate the effectiveness and efficiency of a telephone clinic service for stable chronic kidney disease (CKD) and kidney transplant recipients.

Anticipated impacts

This project could lead to significant savings for both the NHS and patients, as well as improving quality of life for those who have to travel large distances and a reduction in CO2 emissions. The initial evaluation is preliminary work towards a full randomised control trial.

Partners on this project

North Bristol NHS Trust

North Bristol NHS Trust is one of the largest teaching trusts in the country and serves the population of Bristol, South Gloucestershire and North Somerset. Their internationally renowned specialist areas include neurosciences, renal, orthopaedics, major trauma, urology, plastic surgery and neo-natal intensive care.

University of Bristol

The University of Bristol is internationally renowned and one of the very best in the UK, due to its outstanding teaching and research, its superb facilities and highly talented students and staff. Its students thrive in a rich academic environment which is informed by world-leading research. It hosts the Elizabeth Blackwell Institute for Health Research.

West of England Academic Health Science Network

The West of England Academic Health Science Network is a diverse network of partners working collaboratively to put innovation at the heart of healthcare, to improve patient outcomes and contribute to wealth creation. It aims to do this by translating research into practice, and developing and implementing integrated health care services.