Haemodialysis Units

This is the service, run by consultants and teams of nurses, that looks after renal patients who have elected for haemodialysis treatment. These patients may change to Peritoneal Dialysis therapy at some stage or receive a Renal Transplant (kidney transplant).

All patients living in the area covered by the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH) start their haemodialysis at NNUH on Langley Ward, transfer to an outpatient unit in Norwich, Cromer or Gorleston, but when stable, patients can do haemodialysis at home because of the benefits this brings.

Note: The James Paget Hospital does not itself provide Peritoneal Dialysis or Renal Transplant services – these are only provided from the NNUH.  The Cromer unit offers haemodialysis and some of the renal clinics are held there. The other services will come from the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital or Norfolk and Norwich Kidney Centre.

For contact details see: Renal Unit Main Page

Haemodialysis explained

Haemodialysis is where your blood is passed through a dialysis machine and cleaned up in a similar way as healthy kidneys work.

In haemodialysis, blood is taken (via a needle inserted into a blood vessel) through a machine, containing an artificial filter.  After passing through the filter, it returns back into the your bloodstream, via another needle. In other words, you are connected to an ‘artificial kidney’. This contains a membrane, which allows toxins and water to pass through but not the blood cells.

For haemodialysis, an operation is needed to create a large blood vessel, usually in your arm.  This is then used for inserting the necessary needles to connect to the artificial kidney.

The minimum amount of haemodialysis needed is usually four hours three times per week. But more regular haemodialysis, which can be done at home, can give a better treatment.

Recommended Web Sites explaining all renal replacement therapies (renal transplantation, peritoneal dialysis & haemodialysis).

  1. Kidney Care in Norfolk information on Renal Replacement Therapies can be found under the ‘Treatments’ tab
  2. UK Kidney Patient Guide
  3. UK National Kidney Federation
  4. Renal Association which lists all the Renal Units in the UK (useful for planning holidays on dialysis)