Travelling in the UK on dialysis – top tips

Top tips for UK travel while on dialysis to help make your holiday or trip run as smoothly as possible

Whether you’re traveling for work, holidays, or to visit friends and family, being able to get from A to B is an essential part of living well. Unfortunately, dialysis can add an unwelcome hurdle for thousands of people on dialysis trying to do just that. So, what steps should you consider before your trip?

Dialysis Freedom Map

Step 1: Consider destination options

Use the free Kidney Care UK Dialysis Freedom interactive map to see the nearest unit for your trip.

Alternatively, if you want a break, but don’t have a set destination in mind, try this list of recommended UK holiday break destinations.

Step 2: Let your kidney team know your plans (before you book anything)

Wherever you’re travelling to, if you’re going away during a period that you would normally have haemodialysis, the first thing to do is speak to your kidney team so that they can help plan your Dialysis Away From Base (DAFB) while you are away.

It’s generally best to give them as much notice as possible – ideally at least 4 weeks for travel within the UK – so they can get everything ready for your care during this time.

If you are on peritoneal dialysis you don’t need to factor the same things in for your trip, as you can generally do an exchange anywhere clean and with a sink. But you should still let your dialysis team know about your travel plans.

They may also be able to get your fluid sent to where you will be staying. If your destination will be happy for your fluid to be delivered to them, your fluid provider should organise this to arrive two days before you start your trip.

Step 3: Get support organising your trip

While you can organise access to a dialysis unit with help from your hospital unit, there are still a lot of logistics involved before you can settle down in the knowledge that you’re ready to go.

If you require the support of a unit, and you don’t want the extra challenge of these logistics as well as the rest of your stay, you can get support from the free Kidney Care UK Dialysis Freedom support service. The team will take care of all the arrangements and administration, helping to take the stress out of your trip.

Step 4: Don’t feel a holiday or trip to visit friends and family is off limits if money is tight at the moment

As well as support in setting up your holiday, we may be able to help towards the cost of your trip. While dialysis does not cost in the UK as the NHS pays for it, there may be associated costs, such as travelling to a new unit, as well as the general costs of a break itself.

To help you, Kidney Care UK can provide grants to individuals or families towards the cost of a basic holiday in the UK or overseas.

Take the first steps towards your next UK holiday. Get in touch with the Kidney Care UK Dialysis team on 01509 808 668 or via email at [email protected] for your free travel support.

These travel tips offer general information and planning advice for CKD travel, but they do not replace a conversation with your GP or renal team. Before you make any holiday arrangements, always consult your kidney doctor to discuss your health and confirm that you are fit to travel.