Kidney Research has launched a joint report with the Centre for Mental Health calling for action to recognise and respond to the mental health needs of people with chronic kidney disease.

The report identifies inequalities and gaps in access to good mental health and psychological support and urges the four UK governments to invest in tiered services that people need to ensure their mental healthcare is part of their renal care pathways.


Former England and Manchester United footballer Andy Cole, whose foundation has funded the report said: “Living as a transplant patient and not knowing what’s around the corner is not easy.

“But counselling has played a big part in my recovery, and I want everyone with kidney disease to have access to good mental health support like I did.”

The experiences of people with chronic kidney disease are central to the report which builds on findings from last year’s Kidney Research survey.

The survey identified significant gaps in psychological support  with two-thirds of kidney patients reported experiencing depression.

Jeremy Bacon, our Third Sector Lead, said: “This policy report and its recommendations highlight gaps that exist for many people who have chronic kidney disease and the need for a tiered offer of psychological support to tackle the unmet emotional and psychological needs that are common for people with long-term physical health conditions.

Vital importance

“The contributions to the report by people living with kidney disease emphasise that psychological support lags behind physical treatment and highlight the vital importance of having psychological support that recognises and understands the mental toll of kidney disease treatment.

“This report arrived in the same week that the Westminster government has published its consultation on its plan to tackle major conditions in England and we recognise that although omitted from the scope of that consultation, this report focused on chronic kidney disease is a critical example of the need to treat psychological as well as physical health needs.

“We’ve heard from our members working with clients with chronic kidney disease about the value and impact of their work – and in this new report we hear from patients and carers about the importance of having access to psychological support.”