A UK-centric history of nephrology.


The first 13 patients in the UK on maintenance haemodialysis

‘Lucky Thirteen’ at the Royal Free Hospital 1965

Pre-Bright to post-modern


Plans for a transplant unit with glass visiting corridor, 1965

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Made by Hawker-Siddeley in Coventry. This factory made Whitley bombers in the war, then became aeronautic and space engineers after the war (Sea Slug missiles, etc), but had a little sideline in dialysis. Then became part of British Aerospace (then closed). This prototype was made around 1965 was given to Mr R E Shaw (urologist) at Keresley Hospital in 1968 and was the first dialysis machine to be used in Coventry. via robmcrorie on Flickr

A prototype PD cycler machine, 1965 (Rob Higgins)

Images, videos, interviews, links


Cover of A Houseman's Tale by Colin Douglas. 1975 novel set at the time of a lethal hepatitis outbreak in a renal unit.

Renal unit hepatitis in fiction (Colin Douglas 1975)

Hepatitis to Covid via Aluminium


Edinburgh chronic haemodialysis unit, one of the regional units constructed in the late 1960s.

One of the 35 UK regional dialysis units commissioned in the late 1960s (Edinburgh, 1969)

Histories of individual units

Last Updated on June 28, 2024 by neilturn