Is eGFR graph analysis restricted to biochemists?

The majority of sites involved in the ASSIST-CKD project have laboratory staff interpreting the eGFR graphs, but other NHS staff are also undertaking this important role. In about 25% of participating sites, a renal nurse is interpreting the graphs. These renal nurses usually work within advanced kidney care (pre-dialysis) teams and have expertise in assessing declining kidney function.

It is critical to now start thinking about succession planning in your site, especially if there is a chance the person currently reviewing the graphs might leave (or be promoted!).

Staff who have been undertaking the eGFR interpretation have also identified continuous professional development (CPD) benefits from undertaking the role, such as being involved in writing of papers, presentations at conferences and reflections for revalidation/appraisal.

Don’t forget to look out for our ASSIST-CKD Newsbite next week.

What other data are we collecting?

We are collecting headline data on outpatient activity to track what is happening to referral numbers as a result of running the ASSIST-CKD programme. The overall national quantitative data which is being collected and analysed by the UK Renal Registry will be available later and expected to be reported on in the summer 2020.

We have also developed a Smart Survey online questionnaire to gather the views of your primary care community on the eGFR surveillance programme. This is available to any site to personalise and send out as a URL link. Southport, St Helier, Lanarkshire and Newry already have this in place. Please contact us if you would like to use this to provide a local perspective.

Don’t forget to look out for our ASSIST-CKD Newsbite next week.

What new ideas for development have sites come up with?

Electronic graph reporting – if you have a nice IT department. Trying to develop a machine learning algorithm to report graphs – if we can do in one site we will be looking for other sites to validate the process. Local evaluation – some sites are doing more detailed patient level local evaluations which may give us important insights above and beyond our headline figures.

Do let us know if you are doing anything specific to your site which we can share with other sites and look out for our ASSIST-CKD Newsbite next week.

Business as usual

The low annual cost of implementing the ASSIST-CKD programme compared to the clear gains for both the patient and healthcare providers has proved to be one of the main benefits and attractions of ASSIST-CKD.

We’re grateful to all those sites involved in the earlier phases for their creativity and ongoing commitment to ensure that the intervention is sustained in an ‘ everyday ‘ setting – in other words – ‘business as usual’.

Don’t forget you can still use the infographic, should you need to show a simple business case to help secure funding.

Look out for our ASSIST-CKD Newsbite next week.

Evaluating our success

We will be sending sites a summary of their qualitative data after the themes have been identified and this will form the basis of the full qualitative evaluation report which will be shared across all sites in early Autumn 2018.

The longer term quantitative review incorporating data from the UK Renal Registry will be completed in the Summer 2020.

In addition, up to 4 sites will also be undertaking their own local population analysis.

Do please share your success stories with us so we can let other sites know, and look out for our ASSIST-CKD Newsbite next week.

What happens after the project finishes?

We envisage 20 locations using the ASSIST CKD intervention by October 2018 which is a great achievement and with some sites having over two years experience of using the software. We have gained invaluable spread and sustainability experience from national, network and individual sites’ perspectives.

We are keen to ensure that each location ‘owns’ the ASSIST-CKD approach and can adapt it for their own needs and context which will support overall durability after 2018 – the team are grateful to everyone for their continued support and commitment.

See a recent poster at the 2018 UK Kidney Week in Harrogate by the team at Wirral describing their experiences with the ASSIST-CKD QI programme.

Do let us know if you have presented a poster, given a talk or published anything about your experiences and look out for our ASSIST-CKD Newsbite next week.

Home Nation Coverage Achieved

Home nation coverage has been achieved.


We have strategic national support in Wales with Swansea already running the programme and Clwyd, Wrexham and Bangor about to ‘go live’. Another Welsh Health Board is in discussions and is considering working in tandem with Swansea.

Northern Ireland

Three Health and Social Care Trusts are taking part in Northern Ireland (Newry, Derry and Antrim).


Monklands Hospital, Lanarkshire were one of our first sites and have now been running since September 2016.


We have 12 single live sites throughout England, four of whom form part of the NHS East Midlands Clinical Network.

Look out for our ASSIST-CKD Newsbite next week and do feel free to share your own experiences with the programme.

ASSIST-CKD eGFR Graph Surveillance Programme

Most sites taking part in the ASSIST-CKD QI programme have continued beyond the one year’s funding support

9 of our sites have been running the ASSIST-CKD eGFR graph surveillance programme for 2 to 3 years and have embedded eGFR weekly reporting into their day to day routine laboratory practice.

Southport have even included the ASSIST-CKD programme into their staff development and lab job description.

Look out for our ASSIST-CKD Newsbite next week and do feel free to share your own experiences with the programme.