More than 100 patients, staff and family members attended the third Diaverum dialysis clinic party at the Santa Rosa hotel in El Morche last Sunday.
The party was organised by staff who work at the clinic and was free for those attending. Among the participants were English couple, Amanda and Keith Boyce, who live in La Viñuela and three German couples who visit the area regularly on holiday.
Keith and Amanda, who have lived in Spain for 13 years and used Diaverum's services for two years, said the party as well as the centre were “brilliant” and couldn't praise the staff and doctors, many of whom speak English, enough. “If they didn't speak English I wouldn't get the help,” admits Keith, whose only complaint about the event was that none of the four doctors who work at the centre were able to attend the celebration.
Keith receives dialysis at the centre, which is on the promenade in Torre del Mar, three times a week and says that the level and ease of care in Spain is “much higher” and “much better” than in the UK. Amanda believes that if the couple still lived in the UK Keith “would probably no longer be with us” and explains that Diaverum is a private initiative back home, whereas it is publicly run in Spain.
“The staff at the centre have made dialysis so easy for us. They explained everything that was happening and what was needed very clearly,” says Amanda, adding, “they took the fear away.”
The Torre del Mar centre receives around 80 patients each week from across the Axarquía and among those are eight Brits and a number of Germans who either live here permanently or visit the area for holidays.
There are three other Diaverum centres in Malaga province: Torremolinos, Estepona and Malaga city. The first centre to open was the Torremolinos one in 1995, followed by Torre del Mar in 1998, Estepona in 2007 and Malaga in 2013. María José Arroyo is director of all four centres and was at the Torre del Mar lunch. She said that the lunch was important “to have the opportunity to thank everyone including the families and especially the staff”.
Nanda and Nuria, who form part of the nursing team at the centre and both speak English, explain that the patients “receive treatment three times a week for about four or four and a half hours each session.” They say, “From the very beginning we are warm, we try to make them feel relaxed and really we go out of our way to help the in any way we can.”
Speaking about the motivation for organising the annual lunch, Nanda said, “It is particularly important for dialysis patients and their families to have a get-together with us now and then in order to remain physically and mentally refreshed.”
This effort was clearly appreciated by the German and British couples attending the lunch.