As I’m sure many of you are aware there have been significant changes to the way dialysis within the NHS has been paid for over the last few years with the introduction of the National Tariff, and holiday dialysis has been affected by this. I know some of you may have had problems getting funding for your holidays to units such as ourselves, and Lakeland Dialysis, as we have significantly higher costs than the NHS who are carrying out dialysis on an industrial scale. We do not charge more because we are making a big profit from the NHS but because on the small scale we are dialysing we simply cannot afford to do it for the same cost as the NHS.
Norfolk Dialysis is now contracted to NHS England to provide dialysis for people coming on holiday to Norfolk. What this essentially means is that you will no longer have to get your trust to agree to cover the cost of your dialysis while you are on holiday here. This process has only just been completed so some trusts may not be aware of it yet. Please get your holiday co-ordinators to contact us if you have any problems with your trust saying you can’t dialyse at Norfolk Dialysis because we are a private unit – you can and your trust will not now have to foot the bill.
All this means it is now easier than ever to book holiday dialysis with us, but it doesn’t mean this is guaranteed for ever! We all know the NHS is under increasing financial pressures from central government, and I would urge you to make sure the people who fund holiday dialysis to units such as ourselves are aware of how important it is for people with kidney failure to be able to have a holiday, especially with so many NHS units now struggling to find spaces for holiday patients. Write to your MP, and write to NHS England and let them know just how important holiday units are to people with kidney failure – don’t lose your chance to have a holiday within the UK.