Holiday Dialysis

Holiday Dialysis (also known as dialysis away from base) is available for those patients wishing to holiday here or abroad. If you are a UK resident or under EKHUFT and wishing to travel in the UK- please contact Dialysis Freedom for all enquiries: www.dialysisfreedom.co.uk or 01509 808668. There is also a map of Kent available for you to check the location of your stay- and the nearest dialysis unit. Please speak to the holiday coordinator in your dialysis unit, if you are not sure.

Please do NOT book your holiday until you are happy the dialysis has been arranged, and you understand who is paying for the dialysis.

Dialysis in the UK

Dialysis may occur at any NHS unit in the UK, providing there are spaces available. Private (non NHS) units are also available in the UK- but please check they have an agreement with the NHS. All patients would need to pay for their holiday, travel, insurance and accommodation. If the private units do not have a NHS agreement– then the full cost for dialysis will be charged to you with no reimbursement available. Please check on the NHS Choices website.

KKPA facilities at Hastings

The Kent kidney patients association own two caravans in the Coombe Haven caravan park in Hastings. These are free for dialysis patients under the care of EKHUFT and very popular. For haemodialysis patients the dialysis would need to be undertaken in either the Bexhill or Eastbourne (Private but contracted to NHS) dialysis units- The holiday coordinator will contact the units to establish if there are spaces available.

BKPA funding application

Dialysis patients with financial constraints can apply for funding for holidays via the British Kidney Patient Association (BKPA) - please speak to our renal welfare officer about this.

Dialysis abroad

There are also many haemodialysis centres throughout the world that provide holiday dialysis. Within Europe some facilities offer free dialysis. Please check they accept the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) before you book– as this will entitle you to free dialysis. If they do not accept the EHIC you will be charged. An application for reimbursement and confirmation of what countries provide what treatments are found on the NHS Choices websiteIt is your responsibility to check the funding arrangements prior to departure. Private European unit information is also available on this website.

Some countries, such as France or Switzerland may ask for a contribution towards the costs of dialysis. This is often referred to as a co- payment.  It is always worth checking if there is a nearby unit which is fully covered by EHIC.

If the unit chosen does not take the EHIC card– then they are a privately run unit and an application is necessary BEFORE travel to reclaim the fees charged for dialysis. The regulations and advice regarding this are on the NHS Choices website. If an application for funding for dialysis is not made prior to the holiday it is not possible to make a claim after the holiday, as haemodialysis is classed as ‘pre approval only’. The EAA/ S2 form required should be downloaded from the website, or please ask the holiday coordinator for this. All queries should be made to the cross border team of NHS England at nhscb.europeanhealthcare@nhs.net.

Refunds will only be up to the NHS tariff, this means that if the holiday dialysis is more expensive than UK dialysis cost (Tariff)  then you will have to make up the difference. A reference number will be allocated to you by the European Healthcare Cross Border team and should be used for future correspondence. More information available on the NHS Choices website


Approval is necessary before travel. If visiting Europe- dialysis costs will be reimbursed up to tariff only, and additional costs met by you. If the cruise is outside of these countries- full cost will be to you the patient with no reimbursement.

Holidays outside of Europe

If you wish to travel to a non European country, you or the holiday coordinator will need to check whether or not the country has a bilateral healthcare agreement with the UK (found on the NHS choices website). If they do not have a bilateral healthcare agreement, you will be liable for the entire cost of the treatments in that country. If you are travelling to Australia, treatment must be arranged in advance at a state facility and costs will be met by the Australian Medicare system. Please go to www.humanservices.gov.au for further information.

Infection control

To ensure all renal units comply with the highest standards of infection control, there are certain procedures and blood tests required before you can go to another renal unit. The holiday dialysis facilities will contact the holiday coordinator with the health screening checklist. The consultant may need to discuss with you the risk involved if you plan to visit any ‘high risk’ countries.

Returning from dialysis (UK/ Abroad)

There are strict infection control guidelines for all patients returning back into East Kent Hospitals. The holiday coordinator will discuss this with you. Screening with blood tests and swabs will be necessary. Isolation of your dialysis in a side room may also be necessary as a temporary measure until all results are available.

Useful information:

1. National Kidney Federation

For an introduction to holidays for Kidney patients: www.kidney.org.uk/help/holidays/holidays-tips/

2. British Kidney Patient Association

For information about holiday grants: www.britiskidney-pa.co.uk/holidays

3. Global Dialysis

For information about dialysis holidays abroad: www.globaldialysis.com

5. NHS Choices

Information about healthcare abroad: www.nhs.uk/NHSEngland/Healthcareabroad/Pages/Healthcareabroad.aspx

6. European Cross border team  

Tel: 01138249653  Email: nhscb.europeanhealthcare@nhs.net