Chair’s Report, 2010-11:
Trevor Cook, Chair of the KPA welcomed members to the Roben’s Suite at Guy’s Hospital for the Annual General Meeting of the Guy’s and St Thomas’ Kidney Patients Association on Saturday 12th November 2011.
As the number of patients treated by Guy’s and St Thomas’ kidney unit increases so the membership of the KPA increases. In the past the KPA was a paid membership organisation, the committee feel this is no longer appropriate and action has been taken to amend the Constitution to ensure that the Association embraces inclusivity.
The KPA is keen to communicate effectively with all of its membership and the interested wider community; this is being achieved via newsletters, this website, facebook and face to face interactions. Postal mail outs are not feasible due to cost and the restrictions on the NHS releasing patients’ personal details.
Local KPA events have included a Dad’s Army production; a golf tournament; dialysis unit parties, BBQs, trips out and a football match. The KPA have also funded participation in the National and World Transplant Games (winning a large number of medals) and a family weekend at Chessington World of Adventures.
Televisions have been purchased for dialysis units, together with some medical equipment and ongoing support for research. Ronald MacDonald House (providing accommodation for families of sick children) also received KPA financial support.
The Committee has been working in partnership with other organisations. For example BLIND AID is supporting kidney patients with visual impairment by providing advice and adapted equipment. The KPA is represented on the Management Committee of The National Kidney Federation, the Lay Committee of Kidney Research UK, Guy’s and St Thomas’ Renal Project Board, Kidney Research and Education Initiative at City University and many others. We feel that partnerships have improved the credibility and influence of the KPA throughout the year.
Looking to the Future:
The KPA are keen to help people rebuild their lives after illness, whether that is to return to some form of work, volunteering or pursuing a hobby. A workshop for patients is planned for World Kidney Day 2012 to support this.
A smart phone “APP” is in development for use by young kidney patients to give instant access to personal data, appointment reminders and provide information about kidney and social care.
We plan to work more closely with researchers and support the recruitment of patients to clinical trials.
As a result of a wish of a major benefactor, the KPA is actively involved in the development of home dialysis and is funding a nurse to support and promote the service.
A part-time administrative post has been established to act as the key contact point for the KPA in the future.
The KPA need to raise funds to maintain our level of activity, small scale fund raising activities are useful and will continue, however it is necessary to be ambitious to raise more substantial amounts and the Charity will investigate the use of professional fund raisers. We remain grateful for contributions through legacies and donations.
Change is always difficult and this is particularly true for the KPA which has to address extraordinary social and financial challenges, growing numbers of people with kidney disease and rapid changes presented through technological development.
We are committed to identify areas where the Charity can make the greatest impact for the majority of patients and to make it more relevant to all. This ambition will be embraced in a proposed revised constitution on which we will consult during the year.
Thanks go to all who have supported the Charity throughout the year and we hope that we may continue to inspire and count on even greater achievements in the future.
Trevor Cook, Chair, GSTTKPA