A new one-stop assessment clinic for living kidney donors has been launched at The James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough.
All kidney donors who choose to donate a kidney to a relative or friend can come to the one stop clinic after having had specialist nursing assessment and initial blood tests, meaning they now have just one visit to the hospital instead of three.
Medical review and assessments to look at the structures and function of their kidneys are now more focussed and all take place on one day. Quick and convenient for potential donors, the one stop clinc allows them to plan their lives more easily and they find out if they can proceed as a donor within four to six weeks.
Developed as part of national improvement organisation NHS Kidney Care’s project to improve listing for transplantation, the hospital’ living kidney donor team worked with the trust’s medical physics department, CT scanning and administrative staff at the hospital to make the one stop clinic a reality.
Caroline Wroe, consultant nephrologist and clinical lead for the timely listing project, said: “We have a strong kidney transplant programme at James Cook but felt we could further improve the service by looking at other organisations best practice and how they are doing things.
“The clinic was developed to make living kidney donor work-up as efficient as possible. It offers multiple benefits including reduced visits for donors, shorter waiting times for recipients, reduced costs to the NHS and ultimately the ability to see more patients.”
The first three patients to use the clinic all left very positive feedback, with all of them rating their experience at James Cook as ‘excellent’.
Gillian Mason, 49, from Darlington was looking into donating a kidney to friend, Janet Sams and thought the new clinic was really good so far and friendly and efficient.
Debbie Walters, 49 from Redcar was hoping to donate a kidney to daughter, Sally Bower, to allow her to ‘have a life’. Muazzam Latif, 27 from Ingleby Barwick was looking at helping brother, Hyder Latif, as he wanted his brother to be fit and healthy and able to life live to the full again.
Kidney disease affects a huge number of people in the UK. It can affect people at any age and has many different causes. A small number of people with kidney disease develop kidney failure and need dialysis or kidney transplantation. Medical evidence shows people survive longer and feel better if they have a kidney transplant sooner rather than later.
The renal unit’s living kidney donor team of dedicated doctors and nurses help prepare patients for kidney failure and transplantation and the dedicated new clinic makes the process more helpful and efficient for them.
In 2011, 21 James Cook patients received a living donor kidney from a friend or relative. So far in 2012 there have been eight cases and another 15 are planned for later in the year. There are also three altruistic donors (a gift of life to someone they do not know) being worked up.
If you have a friend or relative affected by kidney disease and would like to know more about living kidney donation please contact sister Alison Callaway on 01642 854732. The NHS website www.organdonation.nhs.uk gives more information and patient stories.