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Your Kidney Treatment Options Team

There are a number of people that will be involved in your care while you are on the Renal Options Pathway.  You can find out a bit more about the roles of each of these people in the tabs below.


Your Nephrologist or kidney doctor is your coordinating Doctor.  They will liaise with your GP, Surgeons, Radiology Doctors and other healthcare teams at the John Hunter Hospital.  Your Nephrologist is the main source of referrals to different members of your treating team.

Occupational Therapy

If you want to do home dialysis you may be asked to see the Occupational Therapist. The Occupational Therapist will assess how you are able to attend daily tasks. They may help make a plan to help you with dialysis training.

Areas that we may talk about are:

  • Your life roles and values
  • Physical skills such as walking, lifting and balance
  • Hearing
  • Eyesight
  • Your ability to read & follow instructions
  • Pain
  • Memory
  • Your ability to grasp and control objects with your hands.
  • We look forward to working with you.

Social Work

The Social Work Department has social workers who are responsible for speaking with people as they come through the education pathway. Issues that may arise are looking at treatment options from a social perspective, effects on family and work life, quality of life and lifestyle changes due to renal disease, family structures and work history, transport, accommodation and financial pressures.

Social workers offer counselling and support to patients and their partners, carers, family and friends. They can act as patient advocates, particularly with your treating medical team, Government agencies and community organisations.

Social work input can be arranged when required by contacting your Kidney Treatment Options Co-ordinator and asking for a referral to a Kidney Social Worker.


There are Kidney Dietitians based at John Hunter Hospital and at Wansey Dialysis Unit. They are responsible for providing nutritional assessment, education and ongoing support. This is done by providing outpatient clinics, education, assessments and other consultations.

The Dietitian will assess your current diet, any symptoms you are experiencing and find out how well-nourished you are. You might need to make changes to your food habits depending on the level of your kidney failure, symptoms and current intake.

The Dietitian will speak to your Nephrologist when necessary to ensure that you are eating well. Dietary changes can often help maintain kidney function or manage symptoms; the Dietitian will work with you to ensure that you get the most benefit from any changes to what you are eating.

You will need regular reviews and changes might happen depending on your blood tests and kidney function.

Home Therapies Nurses

If you are thinking of doing a home therapy such as peritoneal dialysis or home haemodialysis you will attend a clinic appointment with one of the nurses from the Home Therapies Unit.

This appointment is designed to introduce you to the Home Therapies team, for you to receive information and be able to ask questions specific to home dialysis therapies. At this appointment the nurse will attend some assessments which help to plan and personalise your dialysis training.

Kidney Supportive Care

The Kidney Supportive Care team is part of the Renal Unit of John Hunter Hospital.

We provide a service alongside your usual care by your nephrologist and GP. We aim to help improve your quality of life and reduce your symptom burden.

You can access this service if you are:

  • On dialysis but are having symptoms
  • Choosing not to have dialysis
  • Thinking of stopping your dialysis treatment

Who is the Kidney Supportive Care team?

The team consists of:

  • A Palliative Care Specialist Doctor
  • A Clinical Nurse Consultant
  • A Social Worker
  • A Kidney Dietitian

You can access the service after speaking to your GP, Nephrologist or Kidney Treatment Options Coordinator.

You will need a GP referral to the Kidney Supportive Care Doctor.


Surgeons working with the Kidney Team can meet you to discuss your choices for dialysis access surgery.  This referral to see a surgeon is made by your Nephrologist.