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Understanding the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on kidney patient care

25 May 2023

GP Dr Stuart Stewart has been awarded a Kidney Research UK grant of £250,000.

The problem

The Covid-19 pandemic has disrupted healthcare services in the UK, raising important questions about how well chronic kidney disease (CKD) has been detected, monitored and managed during this difficult period.

A missed CKD diagnosis is associated with worse health outcomes, but we don’t yet know which patients are at greatest risk of being missed.

A portrait photo of researcher Dr Stuart Stewart
Dr Stuart Stewart

The solution

Medical records from patients registered with GP surgeries contain details of diagnosis, treatments and tests. By combining healthcare information from large groups of patients, without any details included that could identify an individual, Dr Stewart will look for important trends and patterns in how CKD is diagnosed and managed in different patient groups.  

What this might mean for kidney patients

Dr Stewart’s work will help us to understand how the Covid-19 pandemic has affected the health and care of people living with CKD, and why some people are missed. The information from this study will help us to understand what groups of patients are most likely to have missed out on early diagnosis, design ways of helping patients now and support more equal access to healthcare in future. 

Kidney patient Helen Rogerson
Helen Rogerson

“This important research into the effects of Covid-19 will hopefully highlight the detrimental effects and the problems of loneliness that the pandemic brought to kidney patients, along with the late detection of progressive kidney disease as many patients isolated and didn’t seek medical help due to covid restrictions and increased demands on NHS workloads. The pandemic is not over for many kidney patients.” Helen Rogerson, currently on peritoneal dialysis

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