KIDNEY patients may be spared the journey to Huddersfield Royal Infirmary for blood dialysis.

The breakthrough will arise when new equipment for home treatment is launched.

Up to 500 patients in West and North Yorkshire have to have such treatment - officially called haemodialysis - in hospital to remove poisons from their blood.

The treatment is needed three or four times a week and lasts for about four hours.

But up to 200 people in the region should be able to benefit from new home dialysis equipment.

Peter Naylor-Smith, 43, an auxiliary nurse at Dewsbury District Hospital, receives such dialysis at home.

He said: "Since going on to home dialysis I have been able to work around it and live something of a normal life.

"I can plan my dialysis around most things, like work, going out or having people around to visit.

"A machine at home means you do not have to let it rule you."

St James's Hospital in Leeds is the regional centre for patients with kidney failure and oversees satellite units, such as the Royal Infirmary.

The Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust has received £250,000 from family doctors in primary care trusts across the region, to set up and run a home service for dialysis patients.

Dr Chas Newstead, consultant renal physician at Leeds Teaching Hospitals, said: "I'm delighted we've secured the funding to make this treatment available to patients in our region.

"Technological advances in haemodialysis over the last few years have meant that equipment has been made safer, easier to use and less intrusive on patients' lives.

"This means that those who are eligible for home treatment can manage it themselves and continue to live a relatively normal life," said Dr Newstead.

"Home-based machines were previously difficult to operate and patients relied heavily on partners or family members to help them use them."

But not all patients will be eligible. Only certain ones in certain situations will be able to take advantage of the equipment.