An NHS-supported scheme is expanding to make it easier than ever for people with kidney disease living in Greater Manchester to take part in health research.
Since 2012, Research for the Future has operated three ‘Help BEAT’ campaigns in the fight against diabetes, respiratory and heart disease. Supported by the NHS’s research arm, the National Institute for Health Research, the campaigns encourage people living with a particular health condition to register to hear about local research taking place in to their condition and how to get involved.
The team are now launching their fourth campaign, Help BEAT Kidney Disease, on World Kidney Day (8 March 2018), an annual day which aims to highlight the importance of kidney health.
The kidneys carry out many important functions including the regulation of blood pressure and the removal of toxins. Kidney disease is a common condition, often associated with getting older, or caused as a result of other conditions including diabetes and autoimmune conditions. Over 8% of the adult population may have some form of kidney disease, meaning around a quarter-of-a-million people in Greater Manchester are affected. Complications of kidney disease can be serious with complete loss of kidney function requiring dialysis or transplantation.
Only through research is it possible to better understand kidney disease and bring about improvements in its prevention, treatment and care. It might sound obvious, but kidney research can only take place with the help of people who have the condition.
Katherine Grady, Research for the Future manager, explains: “People with long-term conditions such as chronic kidney disease (CKD) are often passionate about understanding their condition and are very willing to help researchers learn more about the best ways of managing it. However, it can be difficult to find out what research is going on locally and how to take part. That’s where our new campaign comes in.
“Two of our region’s hospitals, Manchester Royal Infirmary and Salford Royal Hospital, both have a global reputation for excellence in kidney research. We are incredibly excited that our Help BEAT Kidney Disease campaign will make it easier for people to access a wide range of research opportunities in to their condition. There are many types of health research that people can help with; from simple questionnaires about living with a health condition, to taking part in trials of new treatments.
“By taking part in research, people make a valuable and vital contribution to our understanding of health conditions. Last year, over a thousand people across Greater Manchester took part in research after hearing about it from Research for the Future. People tell us they enjoy taking part as they can learn more about their condition as well as gain access to the latest treatments.”
Philip Kalra, Professor of Nephrology at the University of Manchester and consultant at Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust, is backing the campaign. He says: “I am delighted the ‘Help BEAT Kidney Disease’ campaign is launching in Greater Manchester. Early kidney disease is common and many people are at risk of developing serious complications, including the need for dialysis or a transplantation, which can have significant effects upon their lives. This campaign will enable people to sign-up to be informed about possible research that they might participate in, so that together we can help to improve the lives of people with kidney conditions.”
You can find out more about the Help BEAT Kidney Disease campaign and sign-up online at www.researchforthefuture.org or alternatively text research and your name to 81400 (standard text rate) or call the team direct on 0161 206 3636.