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Research Article

Distribution of nephrological services for adults in Great Britain. Report of the Executive Committee of the Renal Association.

Br Med J 1976; 2 doi: (Published 16 October 1976) Cite this as: Br Med J 1976;2:903


A survey was performed to find out how many doctors in Great Britain were providing nephrological services. The number of such doctors in each region correlated closely with the size of population, but the relation between the numbers of sessions they provided and the size of population, though significant, was not nearly so close. The number of sessions provided correlated strongly with both the number of patients on dialysis and the number of outpatients seen each week. These findings indicated that nephrological services were unevenly distributed throughout the country, while patients with renal diseases are probably evenly distributed. Even in the regions providing the most sessions demand still exceeds supply. In Britain only 62-0 patients per million population were being treated for terminal renal failure at 31 December 1975, whereas over twice that number were being treated in Switzerland (136-1 per million) and Denmark (132-4 per million). Despite the deficiencies in the service, doctors attempt to see all patients with a renal disorder at least once and to treat acute renal failure, though many patients cannot be followed up.