Dr Nelson’s retirement thank you

April 8 2019
A thank you message from Dr Nelson & a separate message from Janet Cordell his assistant who retired at the same time.

Letter from Dr Nelson

Dear Members of the SGKPA & patients,


Many thanks for thinking of me as I set off on a new chapter of life, retirement. 

A particular thanks to all those who sent a personal message.

The joint National Trust membership for my wife (Nandita) and I is a very thoughtful gift as I can persuade her to leave work commitments and enjoy the wider world. Then when she does retire, we will have some joint retirement plans.

The very first patient I saw as a third-year medical student was a gentleman with renal failure on dialysis and I have involved with renal patients for most of the intervening 38 years. It has been a stimulating career working with people who have a deep interest in their condition and their renal unit.

You have done some great things for St Georges renal patients and I am sure will continue to do so in the future.


Very Best Wishes


Steve Nelson



Letter from Janet Cordell

Dear Michael


Thank you so much for representing the patients at Steve’s and my retirement party on Friday.  It was lovely to have you there and I hope you had an enjoyable evening. 

Thank you again for the beautiful flowers which are adorning my house and for the swimming goggles which will be put to very good use.  If you have the opportunity, please thank all the patients for me and I wish all of them and you all the very best for the future.

Kind regards.



Dr Nelson's redlections prior to retirement:

After 23 years at St Georges and 30 years in renal medicine I will be retiring at the end of March. It has been a wonderful experience and privilege to be a Nephrologist here.

One of St Georges’ renal unit’s best assets is its Kidney Patients Association. In my time the chairperson has been John Roberts, Chris Eliot and latterly Michael Greatorex. Each has brought some new skills and connections to the role and enhanced the Association overall.

Not only has the Association supported the unit through the purchase of vital equipment, the representation of the patient interests to the Trust management team has been essential.

Over my time at St Georges the unit has gone from doing 45 transplants to more than 150 last year. In keeping with this work load the surgical team has gone from 2 to 5 and Nephrologist from 2 to 7 (although not all of them work clinically full time).

Dialysis has changed from being one of the lowest take on rates in Europe to being one of the respectable best. However we are aware that for some of our older patients dialysis is burdensome, unpleasant and not necessarily life extending.   For these people excellent conservative care has much to offer.

Much has changed also in customs, cultures and technology. The days of the consultant in suit and tie or pressed white coat are now far behind us. Form now follows function, ensuring that staff are bare below the elbows and our infection rates are as low as the very best is more important than the silk tie.

The glue pen to stick results in the notes has been replaced by the “Renal Patient View” app on the almost ubiquitous smart phone. My guilt secret is that I do not have a smart phone (only a feature phone) much to my colleague’s amusement. One junior doctor said to me recently that her mother “used to have a phone like that”.

Renal units are dynamic teams of people and with my leaving a new consultant with fresh eyes will contribute new things to the thinking and practice of caring for renal patients. Best Wishes to you all.

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