Ilfracombe kidney dialysis caravan for holidaymakers

Hele Valley park to hoist mobile treatment centre for visiting kidney patients.

AN Ilfracombe holiday park has become one of the first in the country to have a kidney dialysis caravan on its site.

Hele Valley Holiday Park is hosting the caravan, which will be run by Royal Derby Hospital and available for people with kidney failure to use while holidaying in North Devon.

It is only available to Derby Hospital patients, but will mean those visitors to the area can enjoy a holiday without making several lengthy visits to a local hospital during their stay.

People with kidney failure normally undergo dialysis every other day for around four hours or more at a time and going without it could eventually lead to coma and death.

The Hele park, which has just celebrated its 40th anniversary, is owned by David and Sandra Dovey, whose children Jenny and Stephen are directors.

Jenny said the need for the crucial treatment was brought home to them through regular visitor Mick Taylor, who has required dialysis for several years.

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“He has to go and get treatment in Exeter in every day,” she said.

“It’s quite an inconvenience and very tiring for him to have to go all that way.

“When we had an email offering to put one of these on the park, we jumped at it, we thought it was a wonderful idea.”

The caravan was purchased after supporters at the Royal Derby renal unit raised �45,000. This week it will be staffed and ready to take six holidaying patients.

There will be another staffed session in September, but between these times the facilities will be available for home dialysis patients to use.

Carol Rhodes, senior sister at the Derby renal dialysis unit said: “Many patients on dialysis never get the opportunity to have a holiday, or have to book up to a year in advance to ensure a nearby hospital can provide them with dialysis.

“It can often be quite a stressful time having to go to a new hospital for their treatment. Having a fully equipped dialysis caravan which they can use and which is also staffed by nurses they already know is perfect.”

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