Predicting the future is always difficult! I recall a comment from a good friend some 15 years ago, when the Greater Manchester Renal Project Group estimated future demand and came up with a figure of 978 patients requiring dialysis some 5 years into the future. Not 960, not 980, not nearly a thousand but 978! Colin Short, recently retired consultant renal physician at Manchester Renal Infirmary, said, “You're wrong- I am just not sure by how much!” Colin was of course correct. Ranges are better than precise targets. Even though some will regard a 60% increase in deceased organ donation by 2017 as modest, no one is saying lets get to 4480 transplants and stop!! Let us aim to break the 5000 barrier sooner rather than later.
The NHS Blood and Transplant plan has some detailed objectives to build on the infrastructure now in place. This needs to link with the black and minority ethnic (BME) manifesto to improve organ donation and transplant rates in these communities. The manifesto was launched on March 7th, World Kidney Day, in the House of Commons by the all-party kidney group and consists of 4 strategic challenges and 12 specific action points to help raise awareness, encourage greater donation rates and optimise access to transplantation among BME communities. It is excellent that Kirit Modi the Vice Chairman of the National Kidney Federation is now co-chairing the implementation of this initiative.
Finally (for now), and last but not least, it was great to see Chris Rudge – former Chief Executive of UK Transplant and National Clinical Director for Transplantation, along with Jonathan Hope- previous chair of the Guy’s, St. Thomas and King’s College Hospital, kidney care modernisation initiative recognised in the Queen’s special birthday honours this year.