Renal medicine in Brighton is provided by the Sussex Kidney Unit (SKU) which is purpose built and contains a 26 bedded renal ward, the 50 station main dialysis unit, the Buckfield Home Dialysis centre plus a suite of clinic rooms. SKU provides tertiary level renal care to the 1.2 million people living across Sussex and so a broad range of conditions will be encountered if you choose to train here.
There are 2 fully equipped procedure rooms with image intensifier and modern ultrasound facilities for central line insertion and renal biopsy procedures. The Stirling Day unit offers a dynamic and flexible service to our patients including the weekly renal biopsy procedure list which is consultant supervised and a great way to train. SKU provides all forms of renal management including haemodialysis, peritoneal dialysis, dialysis for acute kidney injury and plasma exchange. Renal transplant work up is completed locally with trainees exposed to both donor and recipient work-up. Transplant surgery takes place at St Georges or Guys Hospitals with patients returning after 1 month for ongoing management here in Brighton. There are currently 450 transplant patients receiving follow up from 1 month post-transplantation (both kidney alone and SPK), 500 CKD/low clearance patients, over 500 haemodialysis patients, 150 vasculitis patients and a weekly clinic for those with glomerulonephritis and SLE on immunosuppression.
There are close links with the Clinical Infection Team for patients with blood borne viral infections and renal disease and also with the Children’s Hospital in the next door building for patients who are in transition from paediatric to adult services.
Home haemodialysis has been well represented in Brighton for many years now and investments in new technology are allowing us to expand this service to include even more patients. The Buckfield Home Dialysis centre contains space to dialyse in a group and alone for all the steps along the pathway to patient independence. Peritoneal dialysis catheters are inserted within the unit so trainees are exposed to all aspects of home dialysis management.
In centre haemodialysis also takes place in satellite units at Eastbourne, Crawley, Bexhill and Worthing with general nephrology outreach clinics at Bexhill, Eastbourne and Worthing.
As a trainee you will be exposed to all these areas from the start but rest assured there are high levels of supervision as you progress and gain the confidence to work more independently as your training programme proceeds.
The department is well staffed with 10 renal consultants, 2 part time consultants (one shared with ITU and one with the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine) as well as a low clearance nurse consultant, 3 specialist dieticians, 2 specialist pharmacists, a social worker and 3 renal counsellors. We work cohesively together as a multidisciplinary team to provide high quality holistic care for our patients.
There are fortnightly 2 hour sessions for the registrars delivered by the renal consultants on curriculum mapped subjects to help you through the MRCP(Neph) as well as regional training days for both renal and general internal medicine. The weekly medical grand rounds are high quality and there is also a fortnightly renal journal club. Several times per year external speakers are invited. There is time in the rota and encouragement to pursue audit and QIP projects and several trainees have been successful in carrying out clinical research projects whilst in post. There is a supported audit department within SKU to facilitate this process.
Several previous trainees have successfully completed clinical research projects which they have been able to showcase at national or international fora and at the regional SWEKS meeting which takes place yearly and will expose you to a wider range of nephrologists and other consultants from the South Coast area. Support in planning and accessing suitable supervisors for out of programme activities is readily available. The relatively new Brighton and Sussex Medical School is expanding and so further opportunities for research will become available.
More information: If you would like any more information or to talk to an actual person about whether this is the right place for you please contact Clare.Castledine@bsuh.nhs.uk or Sarah.Lawman@bsuh.nhs.uk.