Kidney campaigners warn of Bute dialysis time bomb

Irene Wilson, Allan McFarlane and Maureen McDonald at the launch of the Bute Kidney Patients' Support Group campaign to bring a satellite dialysis facility to the island.
Irene Wilson, Allan McFarlane and Maureen McDonald at the launch of the Bute Kidney Patients' Support Group campaign to bring a satellite dialysis facility to the island.

A campaign group hoping to bring a kidney dialysis facility to Bute has warned that the island is facing a dialysis time bomb.

The Bute Kidney Patients Support group launched a campaign in October which they hope will result in local kidney patients no longer having to travel to the mainland three times each week for the gruelling treatment.

The Bute campaigners hope to follow in the footsteps of Campbeltown, where a satellite dialysis unit opened this summer after a local group raised £300,000 towards the cost of the facility.

Shirley McFarlane, whose husband Allan is the group’s secretary, said: “There is a misconception here about why we are raising money. The NHS is providing dialysis services but it doesn’t have funds to provide them wherever people may happen to want them, and they’re not concerned about the fact that people on Bute face a hellish journey to get treatment, or what that does to you.

“Although there are only four people travelling from Bute to the mainland for dialysis there are 19 more on the island who are at stage 4 of kidney disease - and stage 5 is dialysis.”

The group has also renewed its appeal for members of the public - whether kidney patients or families or not - to lend their support to the campaign. To find out more, call (01700) 505456 or see www.butekidney.co.uk or the Dialysis Unit for Bute page on Facebook.

* More on this story in the next edition of The Buteman - on sale from Thursday, November 19.