For three million people living with chronic kidney disease the cost of living increases in 2022 will be especially difficult – and many were already struggling.
Having listened to our beneficiaries, we’ve decided that enough is enough. No one should have to choose between heating, eating and life-saving medical treatment. We have made a conscious decision to do more to support more patients at a time when our community needs more help than ever.
But as a charity we can only do so much – now we need others to step up too.
The rising cost of home haemodialysis
There are about 30,000 people with kidney failure on dialysis in the UK; many are often extremely cold due to anaemia. Around 5,000 of these people receive dialysis treatment at home.
Home haemodialysis already costs people between £590 and £1,450 per year (before any price increases) due to increased water and electricity usage. Data from the UK Kidney Association shows that almost half of people receiving home haemodialysis (44%) are in the two most deprived groups in society.
The employment rate for people on dialysis is just 26% which means that many people on dialysis are already on low incomes. The associated side effects of dialysis (which include cognitive impairment, extreme fatigue, and feeling very cold) make even the simplest of everyday tasks hugely difficult.
In some parts of the country, home dialysis patients are partially reimbursed for additional utility costs by their hospitals, but this doesn’t meet the full costs incurred and reimbursement is only given after the money is spent. To further compound the problem, reimbursement isn’t uniform across the UK.
We have to put effort in just to stay alive. I genuinely believe that the rising cost of living will tip some people over the edge and will cost lives.Phoenix Halliwell
In 2021, Kidney Care UK gave £549,000 in grants to more than 1,100 patients and their families. We saw an increase in demand of 47% for our immediate hardship grants of £300.
We are expecting a significant increase in requests for hardship support this year; many patients have already raised concerns about how they will be able to cope.