An island-based support group for kidney patients is aiming to raise £300,000 to secure a dialysis unit on Bute.
The Bute Kidney Patients Support Group will launch its campaign on October 1 in attempt to replicate efforts in Campbeltown which resulted in the installation of a pilot dialysis unit at the town’s hospital.
Allan McFarlane, who is secretary of the Bute Kidney Patients Support Group, told us: “I’m a transplant patient. I had a double transplant - kidney and pancreas - nine years ago at Edinburgh Royal Hospital. My brother died of kidney problems from diabetes and I was following the same route.
“Once you’ve had a transplant you just want to give something back, so I joined the local support group which was already in existence - it was started by John Polea a number of years ago.
“We’ve been fighting ever since to get a dialysis unit on the island, and up until recently it was a definite no from the NHS.”
With the launch of the pilot unit at Campbeltown Hospital, which welcomed its first dialysis patients last month, Mr McFarlane is hopeful that Bute may be next in line following its annual review next year.
“It’s a ‘maybe’ at this point,” he continued. “The NHS won’t commit to another unit at this stage, but unless we’ve got the cash ready then nothing will happen at all.
“The other worry is that other areas in Argyll and Bute, having seen the Campbeltown pilot, are doing what we’re doing to get a unit. We need to be next in line - Bute always seems to be at the coo’s tail.”
* To read the full story see this week’s Buteman - on sale from Thursday, September 3.