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A tribute to Professor Donal O’Donoghue OBE

04 January 2021

We were very sad to hear that Professor Donal O’Donoghue OBE, passed away from Covid-19 on Sunday 3 January 2021. Our thoughts are with Donal’s friends, family, colleagues and patients. 

Donal was highly respected figure in the kidney community, serving previously as president of both the British Renal Society and the Renal Association and most recently as chair of the board of trustees at Kidney Care UK. He was appointed as the first national clinical director for kidney care at the Department of Health in 2007, showing tireless commitment to delivering improvements in NHS services for kidney patients across the nation, as well as promoting research to improve outcomes 

He used his experience to ensure that the voices of front-line staff, and of the patients that they serve, were heard by decision-makers in the Department of Health and elsewhere in government, and in doing so did a huge amount to improve the delivery of care to patients with kidney disease across the country. 

Tess Harris and Donal O'Donoghue networking
Tess Harris and Professor Donal O'Donoghue OBE at Kidney Research UK Fellows Day event.

Our chief executive, Sandra Currie, said 

I worked closely with Donal on the Renal Association board, and through the Kidney Charities Together group.  I know that the impact of his early death will be profound across so many areas of the kidney community.  

Donal was a great advocate for research, particularly in the clinical settingFor several decades he has been involved in many of our key areas of work, and most recently we shared a specific interest in multiple health conditions. For several years hchaired our Fellows Day event and supported the researchers we fund in their work to improve the lives of patients. 

Michael Nation, director of development at Kidney Research UK, who worked with Donal on a number of initiatives said: 

Donal was committed to bringing in the views of the charity from a research perspectiveespecially our work in the areas of addressing health inequalities and tackling the early onset of kidney diseaseHe ensured that our insight was used to inform the kidney community’s input and response to support national health strategy development, such as the national service frameworks and the follow-up strategic plan. 

More recently, Donal had supported a key clinical trial. 

Donal made an enormous contribution as the chair of the advisory board on our PIVOTAL trial, providing independent strategic insight. He was very supportive of the global trial, which brought new evidence on IV iron treatment in haemodialysis patients,” said Sandra. 

We are very grateful for the time he devoted to our work and for sharing his expertise with us. Our condolences are with his family.” 

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