Working with a Unique Team of Patients and Health Professionals

By Dave McHattie, Co-Chair of the Think Kidneys Intervention Workstream Transforming Participation in Chronic Kidney Disease and Renal Patient

In 2015 the UK Renal Registry put together a group of 14 patient and health professional volunteers to work as a team to develop a package of interventions which would help patients become more active in their health care and change the way clinicians interact and support them.

Our first couple of meetings were about getting to know each other, discussing our experiences and being informed on the objectives for the team. The enthusiasm and anticipation was evident from the start and everyone felt excited about this new venture and how they would contribute. We all agreed an initial piece of work would be to look into all interventions currently available, how they are being used or modified, what other ideas are being used and ideas from the group based on their own experiences. The idea was that we could then explore and put together a package of interventions that enhance the knowledge, skills and confidence of patients with kidney disease as well as support and improve clinical practice for health professionals.

Everyone in the team, both patients and health professionals are working incredibly well together, which is really helpful as both are able to come together with ideas and balanced views to help make informed decisions.

Of the many options discussed, we as a group, decided on a suite of 10 interventions, some aimed at patients, and some for health professionals. The next step to clearly define the interventions e.g. what are the benefits, how they will work and what evidence is available to support their use. To do this we broke into four small groups, each group comprising patients and health professionals and then each group was allocated two or three interventions to work on. There was lots of enthusiasm and each group was able to focus on their allocated interventions. The results were really good in that we all worked hard to present good, clear overview documents. These now form the basis of a useful toolkit of interventions for patients and health professionals alike which can be used to enhance self-management and meaningful engagement.

Given the opportunity to work together, learn and respect others’ views and make agreed decisions, the team has been inspiring and a superb example of patients and health professionals coming together and achieving highly valued results.

The work is now being formalised with a template style of interventions to attract and stimulate interest. The interventions will be presented in more depth and detail as web based resources on the Think Kidney’s web site at

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