Think Kidneys Update - Autumn 2016

Think Kidneys2016 /17 is the final year for the Think Kidneys AKI programme, but there’s still lots to do. With the publication of NHS Improvement’s Stage 2 Patient Safety Alert (August 2016), signposting people to the Think Kidneys resources for detecting, managing and treating AKI, we have received a lot of interest across the NHS and from the media.

We believe AKI is now more widely recognised as a serious threat to patient safety and the resources the programme has delivered for health and social care professionals will hopefully go a long way towards delivering our overall aim of improving prevention and early management of this insidious condition. Along with the introduction of the algorithm into pathology laboratory systems over the last two years, labs are reporting improved recognition of AKI and 63% of labs are now reporting AKI warning stage test results to the UK Renal Registry.

The Think Kidneys Campaign (

Starting with one of our patient representatives being interviewed on BBC 2’s Radio Jeremy Vine show in July, our campaign launched and has steadily gathered momentum over the summer. Based on five, slightly provocative and eye-catching posters and an animated infographic, the campaign messages are about kidneys, their importance for life and health and how to look after them. While not specifically about AKI, two of the posters are aimed at people who have an increased risk of AKI. The posters are free for display in patient and public areas and can be ordered from the link above. The campaign is the result of a general public survey we undertook in the early days of the programme which told us only 51% of the population know that their kidneys make urine. We hope the campaign encourages people to Think Kidneys and it will continue to the end of the year.

Think Kidneys Outstanding work

  • AKI information leaflets for children and young people and their carers are in development with our consultant paediatric nephrologists and our partners the BKPA, and will be available on the website for download or to order in hard copy in a few weeks. We will announce when they are available.
  • The Care Homes pilot, which is delivering a package of resources for the care home sector is concluding shortly. More than 40 homes have taken part and we are now in the process of gathering and evaluating their comments on their use of the tools. Once we have made any adjustments or changes to the materials they will be published to the website and free for download. The current offering can be seen here.
  • We are currently developing an AKI guide for undergraduate nurses. This will be completed in the Autumn.
  • As with any project of the scale of Think Kidneys we are evaluating our work of the last three years and we will publish our findings in February of next year. The report will be available on the website.
  • A STOP pilot, which will provide patients at increased risk of AKI with information about what to look for and what to do, will be run during the Autumn with results and resources available early next year. The pilot will involve communities of primary care and pharmacies
    working together to give out the simple messages about understanding the risk of AKI and how to manage it.

Think Kidneys Website

While work is slowing down a little you will see from the Think Kidneys website homepage that there are now three programmes under the Think Kidneys umbrella brand. The website and the resources on it will not disappear once the AKI programme has concluded next year. Responsibility for updating the resources and maintaining the site will pass to the UK Renal Registry.

You will see from the home page that as well as the AKI programme we now have Transforming Partnership in Chronic Kidney Disease on the site. This programme is measuring patient activation (how involved people are in managing and making decisions about their care), providing tools to help people develop the knowledge, skills and confidence they need to become more activated, and measuring the difference it can make. If you are interested in finding out more, take a look at the website and contact us. 

The Kidney Quality Improvement Partnership (KQuIP) now also has its home on the site. KQuIP is a dynamic network of kidney health professionals, patients and carers who are committed to developing, supporting and sharing quality improvement in kidney services in order to enhance outcomes and quality of life for patients with kidney disease. Anyone can join the partnership by signing up online. We will shortly be sending out more information about the partnership and the planned hub where we will share renal improvement activities and discussion.