World Kidney Day is around the corner now. It is getting stronger and stronger each year. On the 8th March 2012, the national focus will be on kidneys- kidney transplantation in particular.
That is something the kidney community can do lots about to improve the experience of care and outcomes of end stage renal disease for patients and families. Yes, by promoting discussion with friends, colleagues, acquaintances and the public about organ donation, and making registration easier- having organ donor cards in surgeries, outpatient departments, and supermarket checkouts; speaking in schools, mosques and at community events; and making organ donation a natural and normal thing to do. If you have a large local Muslim population have you read “Organ Donation and Islam” produced by the Muslim Healthcare Students Network? If not, why not? It was recently highlighted at the All Party Parliamentary Kidney Group meeting on “Kidney Disease and Transplantation in Culturally Diverse Groups, including all ethnic minority groups. The manifesto from that call for action is to be launched on World Kidney Day.
NHS Blood and Transplant launched the UK Strategy for Live Donor Transplant on the 23rd of January and, kidney care has been supporting live donor kidney transplant programmes through its timely listing project across the country over the last year. There was a big improvement in listing after the renal NSF was published but rates have stabilised over the last couple of years and its time for a renewed push everywhere. Remember that the 18-week pathway for live donation, from starting the tests to surgery is still active and now the right to timely transplant listing and surgery is enshrined in the NHS constitution.