With restrictions easing and new statistics coming out every day this can be a worrying time for kidney patients and their families as they wonder if and when their lives can return to “normal”.

The basic advice remains that you should make sure you have received the two vaccination doses, and if the planned booster programme goes ahead you should take up the offer of a third dose. The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has recommended that immunosuppressed adults and their household contacts should be among the first to be offered a third dose of vaccine in September.




On 20 July the UK Kidney Association (the organisation recently created by the merger of the British Renal Society and the Renal Association) issued a statement on the care of adult clinically extremely vulnerable kidney patients after easing of COVID-19 restrictions on 19th July.


UKKA CEV statement 20 July 2021.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [929.5 KB]




Greg Fell, Sheffield's Director of Public Health, has issued this video giving his advice of the situation after 19 July.

Some people have had doubts about the effectiveness of the vaccine in clinical risk groups, but on 9 July Public Health England published the results of a study involving more than 1 million people in at risk groups. This shows that the Covid 19 vaccines used in this country are effective in preventing symptomatic disease in the majority of people with underlying health conditions.





However, results from the OCTAVE study suggest that immunosuppressed patients need to remain cautious





NHS Blood and Transplant published the latest NHS advice on vaccination for patients and recipients on 30 June.





Earlier in July, several kidney charities including NKF and Kidney Care UK, got together to organise a Question Time webinar on Covid-19 and vaccinations.

There was a wide range of question covering the effectiveness of the vaccine, antibody tests, keeping safe at work, coping with anxiety etc.




There is a need to ensure that people returning to the workplace are kept safe.



Also, there are still concerns that many immunocompromised or immunosuppressed people have not been specifically informed of the risk, and a group of health charities, including Kidney Care UK have written to the Government to highlight issues needing to be addressed as the country opens up.




Adobe Acrobat document [268.3 KB]




UPDATE ON DIALYSIS AWAY FROM BASE: As lockdown restrictions ease and patients want to start to make travel plans, professional and patient societies have issued ad updated statement on dialysis away from base.





NKF (National Kidney Federation) have the latest news and advice for kidney patients on their website.

Click here to read


NKF are also working with other colleagues in the renal community to ensure information is up to date.

Click here to access the latest news




Don't forget that NKF run the only free UK Helpline dedicated to kidney patients with two fully trained, experienced advisers providing a 5 day per week service to kidney patients, carers and healthcare professionals and renal units.

The NKF Helpline is open from 9am until 5pm Monday to Friday on

 0800 169 09 36                or email :

The NKF Helpline is also the UK’s largest provider of kidney-related medical information leaflets with a library of over 200 titles written by nephrologists in simple language for patients and carers.


To access the latest advice from the Government visit: Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance and support - GOV.UK (


Have you experienced delays in being discharged from hospital due to waiting for medication from the pharmacy ?

We are aware that patients sometimes have to wait hours to be discharged after their hospital stay because they have to wait for their prescription medication to be supplied from the pharmacy. If this has happened to you we would like to know about it so that we can send in evidence to those responsible It could be in a Renal Ward or any other department. 

We will keep your details anonymous, but it would help if you can provide information such as dates, length of delay and any other anecdotal evidence.

Please send any comments to :



Drive Through Blood Test Centre

The drive through blood testing facility has moved again (as from 5 July) and is now located at City Parkway, Parkway Avenue, Sheffield, S9 4WA.



Click here to see the leaflet


NHS Blood and Transplant/ British Transplantation Society




30th June 2021

The NHS recommends that vaccination is the best protection for everyone from severe disease, risk of hospitalisation and death due to COVID-19.

Recipients of solid organ and islet transplants and patients listed for a transplant were not included in vaccination trials in the UK. As a result, there has been uncertainty about the level of protection from vaccination in these groups as compared to healthy volunteers and the general population. There was concern that the vaccine may not be as effective for patients classified as clinically extremely vulnerable from COVID-19 due to underlying health conditions and/or the need to take anti-rejection medication (immunosuppression).

Recently, data from Public Health England, which identifies patients testing positive for COVID-19, and the national vaccine registry were linked with the NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) transplant registry.  The combined data was used to identify transplant recipients and patients on the transplant waiting list in England who have received one or two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine and who have subsequently tested COVID-19 positive. This is a practical way to look at the impact of vaccination and its ability to prevent the most severe forms of COVID-19.

Analysis performed by NHSBT shows that approximately 80% of transplant recipients and patients waiting for a transplant in England had received both doses of the vaccine by 24th June 2021. The uptake of COVID vaccination was lower in London (75%) and in people from Black, Asian, Mixed Race and Minority Ethnic backgrounds (65-75%).



Between 8th Dec 2020 – 24th of June 2021:

  • Of approximately 6700 transplant recipients who had not received even one vaccine dose, 7% (466) contracted COVID-19. Of these, 50% (236) died within 28 days of a positive COVID test.
  • Of approximately 39,000 transplant recipients who had received both vaccine doses, less than 1% (76) contracted COVID-19 two weeks or more after second vaccine dose. Of these 8% (6) died within 28 days of a positive COVID-19 test.
  • Of approximately 650 patients on the transplant waiting list who had not received even one vaccine dose, 8% (51) contracted COVID-19 two weeks or more after second vaccine dose. Of these 17% (8) died within 28 days of the positive test.
  • Of approximately 3100 patients on the transplant waiting list who received both vaccine doses, less than1% (5) contracted COVID-19 two weeks or more after the second vaccine dose and none died within 28 days of the positive test.


This data strongly supports the recommendation that, in the absence of any other health contraindication, suitable transplant recipients and patients on the transplant waiting list should accept the offer of two doses of the vaccine for maximum protection against contracting or dying from COVID-19. This analysis also confirms that amongst transplant recipients and patients waiting for a transplant, unvaccinated patients had a very high chance of dying if they contracted COVID-19.  

Studies will continue on how best to measure and improve the effectiveness of the response to COVID-19 vaccination in immunosuppressed or immunocompromised patients.  Transplant recipients and patients waiting for a transplant and their close contacts must continue to follow latest government advice, to reduce the risk of infection, even when vaccinated.

For further advice and information:

Latest NHSBT COVID-19 vaccine – Q&As for clinicians and patients –  and



Government Coronavirus Advice -

NHS advice on Coronavirus vaccination -


Most vulnerable could be offered booster COVID-19 vaccines from September

To read the about the Government's plans to offer a booster vaccine from September click here.




SAKA has purchased a supply of Puzzle Books to be given to dialysis patients.

We know it is beneficial to keep our brains active and these puzzles will help to pass your time during your dialysis sessions.

If you would like one and have not been offered a copy, please ask a member of staff.


We would welcome any feedback on these books, or if you have any other ideas or suggestions about what else we could do to help:

please email:



New UK strategy sets out ambition to be world leaders in organ donation and transplantation


On 1 June 2021 a new 10 year strategy was launched for organ donation and transplantation. Increasing consent rates for organ donation and making the most of donated organs for transplant are the two key aims set out in this UK wide organ donation strategy.


To see further details click here.



From 1 September 2021 GP Practices across the UK will begin sharing patient data. The original start date was to be 5 July, but this has now been postponed.


The new General Practice Data for Planning and Research (GPDPR) aims to reduce the burden on GP practices, allowing doctors and other staff to focus on patient care.


The NHS will share details about diagnoses, symptoms, medications, immunisations as well as your gender and ethnicity. They will not share your name and address or any written notes your GP may have.


For more details via the NKF website click here.




A group of British Asian artists have come together to produce a video promoting organ donation. View below.




NKF held their annual KPA Day and AGM via Zoom on Saturday 27 March 2021, with about 70 people attending. A new Executice Committee was elected, including Glynis Beattie and Phil Beattie from SAKA.


Two very interesting guest speakers were invited. 

Paul Cockwell, Consultant Nephrologist, spoke about the impact of Covid-19 on renal patients, especially those on dialysis and Rommel Ravanan spoke on the impact of Covid-19 on kidney donation and transplantation and also gave an update on the new strategy for organ donation and transplantation.


To read more details about the presentations click here.


Below is the video of the speakers.




We were unable to get together in person for World Kidney Day due to the ongoing coronavirus situation, so, in conjunction with Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, we held an online event on the evening of 11 March with presentations by health care professionals.

Over 40 people joined us for a very interesting evening.

Dr. Arif Khwaja chaired the event, which began with an update about Covid 19 in Sheffield by Dr. Veena Reddy. Other speakers included Dr. Syazrah Salam on bone health in renal disease, Louise Jackson on nutrition for kidney health, Dr. Helen Simms-Williams on her research about children with spina bifida in Uganda and Sarah Albone about the use of exercise bikes by dialysis patients. Professor Martin Wilkie rounded off the evening.


See below to watch the video of the World Kidney Day event:






To mark World Kidney Day teachers at Becton School worked with NHS staff at Sheffield Childrens Hospital to produce a short video to demonstrate what kidneys do.It features Kevin the Kidney and his twin Kate. Whilst this is aimed at the younger generation it is well worth a watch as a very basic explanation of how kidneys work.  Click below and enjoy!

Click here to watch Kevin the Kidney


Ken Tupling


Everyone at SAKA was deeply saddened to hear the news in February that Ken Tupling had passed away. His most recent post at SAKA was as Vice Chair, but over many years he fulfilled lots of roles. Many of you will have met him selling Christmas cards at Sorby. He was also a stalwart at the National Kidney Federation, including serving as President.




SAKA is very grateful to Team Scarlett for raising the tremendous total of £3,229 for our funds.

Scarlett O’Keefe was waiting for a liver and kidney transplant when she sadly passed away on 15 April 2020 at the age of 28. She had already decided she wanted to raise money for charity, and she had challenged her mum Bev, along with family friend Kath, to do the #1000 mile walk to raise funds for SAKA. After their sad loss, Bev and Kath took the decision to continue this walking challenge and spent the rest of 2020 working towards raising as much money as possible, their original target being £1,000. Due to the generosity of Scarlett’s friends and family they far exceeded this target, and it is a wonderful tribute to Scarlett that they were able to give such a substantial donation to SAKA.







Thanks to Katrina Mills for organsing a raffle amongst her family and friends. Her plans for a coffee morning had to be abandoned due to Coronavirus restrictions, but her raffle raised £147 for SAKA funds



Here is a link to the latest guidance on receiving dialysis etc. when travelling to the EU after 1st January 2021:


Reciprocal Healthcare for Dialysis patients from 1st January 2021 | National Kidney Federation

FREE Information and Advice Sessions


SAKA is funding Information and Advice Sessions at the Renal Unit at the Northern General Hospital. Any renal patient can make use of this service, which covers benefits advice, housing issues, consumer issues, non-residential care, money matters, legal issues etc.


Sessions are also held at Heeley Satellite Unit.


The sessions are run on our behalf by Age UK, but are open to patients of any age.


So far we have had a lot of success in helping people claim benefits, which they may not otherwise have realised they were entitled to.


For further details or to book an appointment:

Phone 0114 2502850 or



Download flyer here

We have set up a new Facebook Group:


We are looking for patients (and family members/ carers etc) who attend the Sheffield Unit or its satellites.
We have started a small confidential group to discuss Sheffield and also share news and information based upon Sheffield. It is clear during the COVID outbreak information is different from other units and it can get confusing. We would like the input of as many people as possible so that we can get a clear picture of what is happening during this crisis.


 Click here to visit / join the Group.







To mark World Kidney Day, SAKA joined forces with Sheffield Hospitals Charity Trust to organise a Photography Exhibition at the Winter Garden in Sheffield, which ran for a whole week in March.

Paul Cocker took photographs of ten kidney patients and renal staff and these were displayed along with their personal stories.

We also had a range of information leaflets for the public to take.



SAKA has purchased 2 specialist bikes for patients at Heeley to use whilst dialysing.

These bikes have great benefits for patients. 

Haemodialysis patients generally spend 3-4 hours 3 or 4 times a week on dialysis. This equates to 4-6 weeks per year sitting or lying inactive whilst on dialysis. Physical inactivity can lead to poor physical performance, loss of bone strength, loss of appetite, muscle wasting, hypertension, fatigue and dependence. These complications are augmented in patients with kidney disease, which in itself can lead to muscle wasting and hypertension. As most haemodialysis patients spend a considerable amount of time travelling to and from and in a dialysis unit, they have less opportunity to exercise.



Exercise in the general population is associated with a number of benefits including:

  • Improved blood pressure control
  • Increased muscle strength
  • Improved mental health and well being
  • Improved physical function and maintenance of independence
  • Improved sleep


There are further specific benefits noted in haemodialysis patients including:

  • Improved efficiency of dialysis by increased muscle blood flow enhancing removal of toxins
  • Improved nutrition
  • Delay in end stage cachexia







Living Donor Event

19 November 2019


The Living Donor Coordinators organised a highly successful evening at Bramall Lane on 19 November to give patients considering a living donor transplant all the information they needed. They were able to listen to and meet recipients of kidneys along with their donors.


The evening included a pie and pea supper and there was the chance to put questions to health care professionals as well as to donors and recipients.



On 24 October 2019 David Lilley completed a dawn to dusk golf challenge to raise funds for SAKA.


He raised £481.00 which HSBC are matchfunding and so the grand total will be £962.00, a great result.


He managed to play 4 rounds starting at 7.30am and finished at 5.30pm, even having his lunch on the go whilst travelling between holes.

He played 374 strokes with 17 pars and took 20557 steps.

Winners of the competition to guess his results were Christine Brown guessing 375 strokes,Liam Bennett guessing 17 pars and Amelia Tembey guessing 21000 steps.


Well done to David from all at SAKA.


David is on the right in the photo, being congratulated by Jason Baker from HSBC.





As you may know SAKA used to own a holiday caravan on the east coast, but, due to its declining use, we took the decision to sell it.


However, the North East Kidney Patients Association now have a caravan for hire at Cayton Bay Holiday Park near Scarborough. 


Details: 2 bedroom, 6 berth, wheelchair friendly, fully equipped , hire fee includes free entertainment passes


Dialysis is available at Scarborough Hospital (4 miles away) and Bridlington Dialysis Unit (6 miles away)


For more details / bookings please contact Victoria Harrison:


Phone / text : 07985 781364


or visit:


To download flyer with full details CLICK HERE







SAKA was delighted to be chosen as one of the charities to benefit from the 2019 Music in the Gardens. This is an annual event in Sheffield's Botanical Gardens organised by local Rotary Clubs. Six volunteers from SAKA sold programmes and held a bucket collection on the evening of Sunday 7 July when the crowd was entertained by Unite the Union Brass Band and Sheffield Philharmonic Orchestra, followed by a firework display.  So far over £700 has been raised, with more to come later in the year.





World Kidney Day took place on Thursday 14 March. 

To mark the occasion SAKA joined forces with the Sheffield Hospitals Charity to hold a photo exhibition in the Winter Garden in Sheffield city centre from Monday 11 March  to Friday 15 March. 




The Photo Exhibition featured the kidney stories of local individuals, including dialysis patients, transplant patients, a living donor and health care professionals.


Alongside was an information stand with leaflets on different aspects of kidney health.



We also help an Open Afternoon at the United Reformed Church on Norfolk St., with a variety of information stands, and speakers giving short presentations.





On 28 September 2018 a celebration was held at Kenwood Hall to mark 50 years of kidney transplantation in Sheffield.


Click here for full report.

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