Skip to main content Skip to navigation

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

Investigators: Mr Nizam Mamode (PI), Ms Hannah Maple, Professor Paul McCrone, Dr Joseph Chilcot, Dr Alexis Clarke, Dr Sam Norton, Ms Annie Mitchell, Professor Heather Draper
Funder: NIHR, Southampton University

Operating TheatreThe 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 study 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.

More information can be found here.


Understanding barriers and outcomes of Unspecified (non-directed altruistic) kidney donation from both professional's and patient's perspectives: Research protocol for a national multicentre mixed-methods prospective cohort study BMJ Open (in press)