Improving peer support for kidney patients

Compiled by Professor of Kidney Care Nicola Thomas and Renal Nurse Consultant Eleri Wood, the Peer Support Toolkit aims to improve the uptake of peer support for kidney patients in the UK.

In many ways it is a simple low-cost intervention, of one person with kidney disease providing information and emotional support to help someone else with the same condition. However, its impacts, such as increasing understanding and providing reassurance, confidence, and hope, are priceless, and every person in the UK living with kidney disease should have access to a trained, competent peer supporter.
Eleri Wood, Renal Nurse Consultant

If anyone is in any doubt about the benefits of peer support, you only need to consider the words of Eleri Wood, a champion and role model for peer support.

The Peer Support Toolkit

The Toolkit was compiled by two kidney nurses with decades of renal experience between them, a renal counsellor, a fantastic project assistant and most importantly a committed group of individuals who had either received or provided peer support. 

We began by publishing a literature review on the barriers and drivers for peer support programmes in kidney care in the UK.

We undertook a survey to find out the availability of peer support in renal units across the UK and presented a poster at UK Kidney WeekAs a result of the survey and interviews we conducted in two London Trusts, we developed the Peer Support Toolkit.

Using the Peer Support Toolkit as a clinician

If you are a clinician, peer support can complement the psychological services provided by your unit and the advocacy services provided by Kidney Care UK.  

Using the Peer Support Toolkit as a patient

If you are a patient, lobby your doctor or nurse and ask about peer support in your unit. The Toolkit is here to support you with practical advice and ready-to-download templates to get you started. 

I have as a patient thoroughly enjoyed being involved in this project... the Toolkit is a user-friendly, highly detailed, instructional step-by-step guide for units to introduce / improve/ reshape their own service.
Kidney patient and Toolkit team member