Evaluation of telephone clinic service for patients with chronic kidney disease

WestRenal and Urogenital
Start Date: 31 Dec 2016

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.

Dr Jeremy Horwood