Patient Groups

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Patient Groups

Patient Groups in UK Nephrology

As soon as dialysis and transplantation became viable therapies for end-stage kidney disease, the special needs of the patients offered these treatments became apparent. These patients were pioneers, and along with their families were facing life-long uncertainty about the scope and potential of the treatments they were receiving.

Two organisations for patients, offering them information and advocacy, as well as practical and emotional support soon came into being.

National Kidney Federation

Kidney patients associations (KPAs) started in many renal units soon after each unit was established, run by patients for patients. The individual KPAs  soon realised   they needed a national organisation to fight their cause nationally  as renal provision was  overstretched, and under resourced. The National Federation of Kidney Patient Associations was therefore formed in 1979 It was renamed as the National Kidney Federation, and is now a federation of 49 KPAs across the UK. Patients or their carers are still the officers of the NKF, the members of its Executive Committee,  and the majority of its workforce . It is remains the only patient-led kidney charity in the UK.

Find out more about NKF at

British Kidney Patients Association (BKPA)

BKPA was founded in 1975 by Elizabeth Ward OBE (1926-2020). Her son had developed kidney failure and she established the charity to improve life for kidney patients. She was a highly effective fundraiser, networker and campaigner.

In 2017 BKPA was rebranded as Kidney Care UK

Find out more about Kidney Care UK at



Last Updated on June 5, 2022 by John Feehally