Kidney Wales Foundation met with the Minister of Health Edwina Hart AM MBE on Monday 16 of July 2007 and discussed the action needs of kidney patients in Wales.

Kidney Wales set out the People Like Us Campaign to be launched by four times transplant ambassador Allison John in September. This was described to the Minister as the People Like Us Campaign and a list of events were proposed culminating with a Patients Summit in January 2008. The Minister agreed to meet a kidney patients forum before then.

Kidney Wales put to the Minister Edwina Hart that renal services in Wales had slipped back and that to recover the ground an all Wales Renal Trust should be established. The policy set by the 2007 Governments Renal National Services Framework should then be implemented. As an example Kidney Wales stated that the two North and South Networks envisaged by the Framework could be monitored as could other services in Wales by a new Renal Trust for Wales which would report directly to the Minister Edwina Hart.

Roy J. Thomas Executive Chair of Kidney Wales believes this would action government policy. Patients in Wales are calling on us to speak to Government about how we action the policy he said. And added In Edwina Hart we believe we have a Minister who will action policy and understands the needs of the kidney patient.

Other key needs were discussed including a new transplant unit for Wales, the need for more kidney donors and informed funding of the Organ Donation Register run in Bristol for Wales.

The main issue discussed was the need for more patient centered dialysis units in rural Wales which has been raised in a recent plenary session of the Assembly. KW discussed issues such as presumed consent and the need for a new Transplant Unit in Wales.

Raj Aggarwal Chair of the Kidney Wales Trustees said ‘This is the first time we have had dialogue with the Minister of Health Edwina Hart since publication of the Government’s Renal Framework. It is our role to be a voice for kidney patients and families as we have been for 40 years. We also have the support of the Welsh Kidney Patients Association which we helped form. The Minister Edwina Hart listened intently to our concerns. We hope to meet her again soon to meet the Patients and in September when we launch our People Like Us Campaign’.

The Meeting also discussed the pound for pound pledge of Kidney Wales for Organ Donor Campaigning in a petition to the Presiding Officer and Chair of the Assembly’s new Petitions Committee on 10 of July 2007.

Editors Notes

The Kidney Wales Foundation is a charity and was founded in 1967. Kidney Wales has a track record on promoting the need for more renal services in Wales.

It was known as KRUF . Kidney Wales Foundation re-branded in 2004 and has gained momentum as patients have seen it as a voice for their concerns.

It celebtates its 40 years with the launch of the People Like Us Campaign in September 2007 which will be lead by Allison John who had a kidney transplant in December 2006. She has also received a heart and lung and liver transplant.The first in the UK.

Kidney Wales presented a Petition to the Assembly on 10th of July 2007 calling on it to increase campaign funding on promoting the Organ Donor Register in Wales and stating that Kidney Wales would match fund pound for pound.