Unspecified kidney donation: professionals' perspectives

  • Research type

    Research Study

  • Full title

    Unspecified living kidney donation in the UK: barriers to implementation and delivery



  • Contact name

    Nizam Mamode

  • Contact email


  • Sponsor organisation

    Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust

  • Duration of Study in the UK

    4 years, 11 months, 12 days

  • Research summary

    The waiting list for a kidney transplant in the UK includes over 7000 people, and is increasing. The best available treatment for kidney failure is a kidney transplant from a living donor. The donor is usually a friend or relative. In 2006 donation to a stranger (referred to as unspecified altruistic donation) was introduced in the UK. Since then the number of unspecified altruistic donations has increased year on year. In 2012, 60 transplants used kidneys from unspecified altruistic donors, accounting for around 1 in 20 of all kidney transplants from living donors. These donations provide a high quality kidney to patients on the national transplant list and to someone in the paired/pooled scheme who would not otherwise obtain a transplant due to incompatibility with their donor.The number of unspecified altruistic donations varies widely across transplant centres. In 2012, three (out of a total of 23) centres accounted for 45% of all unspecified altruistic donations. There is considerable variation between centres in the proportion of people making contact in order to donate a kidney, who actually proceed to donation. Reasons for this variation are unknown but may include resource issues, concerns regarding an individual's motivations, or that the individual may develop physical or psychological issues after donation.
    The aim of this project is to perform a comprehensive assessment of the unspecified altruistic donor programme in the UK to explore variation between centres, and identify barriers and facilitators to donation for those that have expressed a willingness to do so. These questions will be addressed by interviews and questionnaires sent to health professionals working in transplant centres in the UK.

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  • REC reference