Patient Advice, Advocacy and Support

BAKPA has a policy of not recommending or endorsing any individual support groups. We are an integral part of the National Kidney Federation. This consists of member Kidney Patient Associations. The NKF by pooling the resources of member KPA is able to offer a dedicated information line and has produced about 200 patient information leaflets covering common to obscure conditions. These leaflets are written, examined and approved by qualified, experienced and respected nephrologists.

Do your own research, use the NKF helpline and internet as a tool but remember to ask and rely on your nephrologist. He or she has full details of your specific condition and is able to make a judgement in your best interest, taking into account contradicting side effects of all medication you are prescribed. Your nephrologist is trained to make the best use of medication. One medication with it’s ideal dosage, in isolation, may bring your other results out of kilter to dangerous levels, your nephrologist is trained to use his skill in making the best compromise without possible conflicting effects. Some medications work against each other and variable life style and diet are complicating factors. No person, trained or lay, can know all the answers all the time but it is safer to trust your nephrologist with the full information on your condition rather than any generic or empirical advice.

The helpline staff apart from giving medically approved advice and patient information also operate a buddy system where you are put in touch with patients experiencing similar conditions and complications. BAKPA can see no reason to duplicate this effort and certainly this would not be an efficient use of our funds by attempting to do so. All our members are encouraged to use this NKF resource.

Help for Kidney Patients and Carers

NBT now has dedicated staff to support carers and offer discounts on Parking and restaurant meals as well as increased access outside normal ward visiting times.  Click on this link Support for Carers for more details.

The NKF Helpline provides assistance to patients, carers, family, friends and medical professionals. Seek advice, obtain literature, get help, all from the one Helpline number (details below). It is open for calls from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.

Tel: (0845) 601 02 09


Address: Helpline
National Kidney Federation
The Point, Coach Road
Shireoaks, Worksop
Notts  S81 8BW

About Kidney Care UK, formerly the British Kidney Patient Association

Kidney Care UK supports kidney patients and associated health professionals around the UK. This well established charity is:

  • The largest provider of patient grants to those on low income
  • A key source of funding for short breaks and holidays for kidney patients and their families
  • Provider of over £2.5 million in financial aid to renal units every year, funding staff posts, service developments and improved patient facilities
  • Supporter of key national research projects through collaborations with the British Renal Society and Kidney Research UK

Kate Cresswell is the Patient Support and Advocacy Officer for Kidney Care UK, working alongside BAKPA in providing support and advocacy for kidney patients and their families in the Southmead catchment area. In her own words:

Advocacy is all about taking action on behalf of people. I am one of a team of 11 across the country and six of my colleagues are patients. Every week, nationally, we receive hundreds of enquiries about benefits, housing, transport, dialysis choices, work and simply managing day-to-day life. We help patients to gain access to the right people, services and support, and to ensure every patient is properly represented. Currently a large chunk of our workload is taken up with Benefits enquiries so that we have recently engaged the help of Auriga Services ( as they are expert in this field. Referrals to Auriga can be made through me. We all have large geographical areas, and I cover the whole of the South West. Based in Taunton, I am pretty central, but nonetheless am away from my desk for at least two days a week. If you would like to contact me, my preferred approach is via email – if you use email. Otherwise my landline number is 01823 270567 and my mobile is 07855 738619.

All enquiries are handled in the strictest confidence.

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