Kent Renal Counselling Service

We are currently seeing patients face-to-face at Kent and Canterbury Hospital; in the Thomas Becket Dialysis Unit, the Marlowe ward or in Renal Outpatients. We offer telephone or video conferencing appointments to those who can't travel to Canterbury, or who would prefer a phone call/virtual appointment.

Support Group – we are currently continuing to meet monthly via Zoom. Please contact Sharon Byrne or visit https://www.kentkidneypatients.co.uk  for more details.

Who would I see?

Amanda Bevin, Lead Renal Counsellor 

I am originally from New Zealand. From 1991, I have previously worked as a renal nurse in Devon and various London Hospitals. In 1998, I completed my counselling training having since worked in a variety of counselling settings from; working with young people; alcohol projects; bereavement services, and latterly, as an amputee counsellor.

In April 2007, I started at Kent & Canterbury Hospital, as the renal counsellor lead. It has always been a passion of mine to offer a Renal counselling service within a renal department setting; this is an area of great need and feel privileged to be able to have this opportunity.

Renal Counsellor Amanda Bevin

Sharon Byrne

In 2012, I qualified as a counsellor when I had the honour to be a volunteer Counsellor at Pilgrims Hospice, Ashford.  In June 2015, I joined the Kent & Canterbury renal team as a renal counsellor, this was assisted via a grant from the then British Kidney Patients Association (now part of the Kidney Care UK).

As well as counselling I also help to facilitate ‘The Kent Kidney Care Centre Support Group’ (with Lu Molina, who chairs the ‘Kent Kidney Patients Association’) the ‘Kent Kidney Care Centre Support Group’ runs bi-monthly, with the venues alternating between East and West Kent. More details can be found on posters located in all renal outpatient reception areas.

I have had the privilege of working with many individuals, ranging from the young to the more mature in both specialist and generic settings. Prior to this my professional background had been in the education sector.

Renal Counsellor Sharon Byrne. Image for the public renal counselling webpages.

What the Renal Counsellor service provides and where?

We are based at Canterbury but do travel out to the five satellite units within the Kent area- if this is your nearest unit – Ashford, Dover, Margate, Maidstone and Medway. 

The service is provided over the working week Monday to Friday, 9 AM to 5 PM

There is a designated Counselling Room within the Renal Outpatient department area at Kent and Canterbury hospital; otherwise we may see people in clinic rooms at Renal Satellite Units or, at the bedside on Marlowe ward, within the Dialysis Outpatient treatment area setting. The latter two areas do provide less privacy than an office clinic room space setting, this needs to be taken into consideration when appointments are booked. For example, if privacy is a factor, it might mean spending more time after or before dialysis treatment slot for a Counselling session. A side room can sometimes be arranged with the unit if available, though, again you are receiving treatment at the same time as counselling.

We also offer telephone appointments if this suits our clients. Following your referral, to start the process as soon as possible we often start with an initial phone assessment to the counselling service. 

Please be advised that, at present, for assessment and starting counselling we do have a waiting list.

We offer:

  • Information - resource person
  • Support - listening ear
  • Advice / Advocacy - if you would like some support /someone to act on your behalf
  • Counselling - discuss specific issues or difficulties
  • Phone or Video sessions available for those unable to travel or with time constraints.  


What is Counselling?

  • Counselling is an opportunity to share your thoughts, feelings and experiences without fear of rejection or criticism
  • An opportunity to reflect on your situation may help you come to terms with this knowledge. A chance to put things into perspective
  • You choose what and how much you wish to share with the counsellor

  • All discussions are confidential within the counselling service – the content will not be shared with anyone else without your prior knowledge / agreement outside of the service.


Who can access the service?

  • The person with chronic kidney disease
  • Family or friends if there is a renal related matter concerning them
  • Living donors – transplant
  • Individuals, couples or families depending on their needs (please be advised that, we are not qualified couple therapists)

Anyone can Self-refer themselves, or ask a member of staff to contact us with your permission.


Kent Kidney Care Support Group

Anyone with kidney problems and their families can join our support group. It is an opportunity to meet people, gain support, knowledge, and friendship.

The group meets every two months in various locations across Kent and usually runs from 10.30am to 12.30pm. We are planning evening meetings also.  We can, at your request, invite guest speakers from the health professions or supporting organisations such as; Dietitians or Carers support, to come along and provide answers to the questions you may have. If you would like to know more or get involved please contact the renal counsellors.

Contact details

Telephone: 01227 864380 answer-machine available – please leave a message and we will get back to you leaving your name and contact number

Email: abevin@nhs.net  or sharon.byrne3@nhs.net

Ask at the Renal Outpatient Department (ROPD) Reception desk; or, drop into our dedicated Counselling room in the ROPD at Kent and Canterbury Hospital, (we are located next the Phlebotomy room). If we are not with a client or on the phone, our door is always open! Our weekly itinerary is on the door of the Counselling room for your perusal.