Kidney charity asks Government to double the number of transplants
The NKF, the largest kidney patients' charity in the UK, welcomes the progress made in increasing the number of donors after death for kidneys over the last five years but is disappointed that the number of transplants has not matched this increase.
Kirit Modi, the new Chairman of the NKF, speaking to representatives of Kidney Patients' Associations (KPA) on 23 March 2013, said: " We need to do more since the proportion of kidney transplants in the UK do not compare well with other countries and three people die every day while waiting for a transplant. I am asking the Government to support a doubling of the number of kidney transplants from around 1800 per year to 3600 per year by 2020 in the new strategy which is currently being developed."
He added that the key features of the new Transplant 2020 strategy should include a commitment from all four Governments ( England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland) to be among the world leaders in kidney transplantation and to recognise this that there will be significant savings to the NHS if more patients receive a transplant instead of continuing on dialysis. The new strategy should encompass all kidney patients and include specific actions which will address the challenges facing patients from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) background who constitute around a quarter of those waiting for a kidney. He offered support from the NKF and said: "The NKF is ready to work closely in supporting the implementation and monitoring of the new strategy to ensure we begin to make a real difference by reducing the number of patients waiting for a transplant."
In addition, he welcomed the increase in the number of kidney transplants from living donors over the last few years. Increasing transplantation requires a major cultural change in this country so that donations become a norm rather than an exception. He urged that the new strategy on donations from deceased donors should be linked to the strategy for live donations and that we should also aim to double the number of transplants from live donations by 2020.
The NKF organised a very successful KPA Day for representatives of 35 local kidney patients Associations in Birmingham on 23 March 2013. A new Executive Committee of fourteen patients, carers and others was elected. Welcoming the new Executive Committee, Tim Statham, the Chief Executive of the NKF said: "I am delighted we have a strong Executive Committee in place for 2013. Our priorities for the future will include how we continue to support individual patients and their families as well as how we influence the new arrangements within the NHS by working closely with local KPAs, the NHS Commissioning Board, NHSBT and others. We have a lot to do."
- The deceased organ donation rate for the UK was 17 pmp in 2011 (per million of population) compared to 35 pmp in Spain. UK ranked 10th in the international league table. Around 90% of the transplants are kidney transplants. In order to become "world class", the NKF is campaigning to double the number of transplants by 2020.
- Kirit Modi is a kidney recipient who was very lucky because his wife Meena donated a kidney to him over 10 years ago. Kirit has been supporting kidney patients for many years both locally through the Lister Kidney Foundation which covers kidney units at Luton, Lister Hospital and St Albans Hospital, and nationally. In addition to the NKF, he is Joint-Chair of a new group NBTA (National BAME Transplant Alliance) which is leading on how we can address the challenges facing BAME patients in relation to organ and stem-cell transplantation. Further details are available at www.nbta-uk.org.uk .
- For queries, please contact the NKF Helpline at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 0845 601 02 09, or contact Kirit Modi at email@example.com . The NKF web-site, www.kidney.org.uk has an extensive range of information available for kidney patients and others.