The Canterbury Renal Unit is situated at Kent and Canterbury Hospital and provides renal services for the East Kent, Medway and Maidstone areas. There are currently 680 transplant patients currently being followed up. There have been a number of immunosuppression related prescribing errors in the surrounding hospitals. Indeed, one such error occurred in the renal unit itself, when a transplant patient had prednisolone inadvertently withheld resulting in rejection of the kidney. Thus, a group of 12 transplant patients attended a co-production group to discuss the problems and potential solutions.
One issue raised by the group at the meeting was the lack of trust for transplant patients in regards to immunosuppression. At home, transplant patients were expected to take their medications, but as soon as they stepped onto the ward, their medications would be locked up. This resulted in immunosuppression being given later than usual and occasionally incorrect doses. This was even more difficult when admitted to hospitals without renal units and it was impossible for patients to challenge healthcare professionals. Indeed, a few patients commented that immunosuppression had been withheld for no seemingly good reason. They felt that more knowledge on immunosuppression would allow them to challenge healthcare professionals more confidently.