Transplant queue-jumpers banned

Foreigners will be banned from having organ transplants in the UK as private patients, under new rules being considered by the Government.





Although people from the EU will still be able to join the NHS waiting list for transplants, those paying privately are likely to be stopped from doing so.

The move would apply to all foreigners living outside the UK who wish to pay privately for treatment.

The ban also applies to people from the EU being treated as private patients in the UK owing to financial arrangements between EU governments and individual UK hospitals.

Those contracts will now be agreed on a national basis between the NHS and EU governments, to remove incentives for individual hospitals and surgeons.

The Government in England will seek approval from administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to bring in the ban in October.

The move comes after a scandal broke out earlier this year when it emerged foreigners were receiving transplants from British donors.

The livers of 50 British NHS donors were transplanted into foreign patients over a two-year period, with the bulk of the operations taking place at King's College Hospital and the Royal Free in London.

Of the patients, 40 were from Greece or Cyprus, while the remainder included patients from non-EU countries such as China, Libya and the United Arab Emirates.

Today, Elisabeth Buggins, former chair of the Organ Donation Taskforce, published her independent report into the issue, which was commissioned by former health secretary Alan Johnson.

She said there was no evidence that overseas patients who had paid privately for UK transplants received organs any quicker than British patients on the NHS waiting list.

But she said it was important to improve transparency and not put people off donating their organs after death.

Her recommendations, which have been broadly accepted by the Department of Health, include:

* Banning all private clinical practice in the UK involving solid organs donated after death within the NHS, from October 1, 2009.

* Establishing an implementation group to work with NHS Blood and Transplant and commissioners of transplantation to monitor referrals from overseas;

* Supporting the development of a new liver allocation scheme to build greater transparency into the allocation process.

* Developing Department of Health guidance for transplant centres to provide clarification on the eligibility criteria for people from abroad.

Health minister Ann Keen said: "We accept her recommendations and will now take these forward to ensure a UK system that is fair and transparent and one which patients and potential donors can have trust and confidence in."

Ms Buggins said: "This report seeks to make more organs available for UK residents.

"While I found no evidence of wrongdoing in the way organs are allocated to patients there is a perception that private payments may unfairly influence access to transplant, so they must be banned."

Last year, 3,504 organ transplants were carried out in the UK from 1,844 deceased and living donors.

However, there are currently 8,054 people on the active waiting list for a transplant and a further 2,400 who are currently too ill to join the list.

About 1,000 people a year, or three every day, die while waiting.

Anthony Warrens, spokesman for Kidney Research UK, and a professor of renal and transplantation medicine at Imperial College London, said: "This report highlights the desperate shortage of organ donors, especially for kidneys.

"A total 90 per cent of patients on the waiting list are waiting for a kidney transplant (7,000 patients) and over three million people are at risk of chronic kidney disease."

Suggested Topics
ebooks
ebookA delicious collection of 50 meaty main courses
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Dublin

    £13676.46 - £16411.61 per annum + OTE: SThree: SThree Trainee Recruitment Cons...

    Ashdown Group: Marketing or Business Graduate Opportunity - Norwich - £22,000

    £18000 - £22000 per annum + training: Ashdown Group: Business and Marketing Gr...

    SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

    £20000 - £25000 per annum + Commission: SThree: Are you great at building rela...

    Ashdown Group: Database Analyst - Birmingham - £22,000 plus benefits

    £20000 - £22000 per annum + excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Application Sup...

    Day In a Page

    Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

    Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

    Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
    Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

    Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

    Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
    China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

    China's influence on fashion

    At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
    Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

    The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

    Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
    Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

    Rainbow shades

    It's all bright on the night
    'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

    Bread from heaven

    Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
    Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

    How 'the Axe' helped Labour

    UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
    Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

    The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

    A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
    Welcome to the world of Megagames

    Welcome to the world of Megagames

    300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
    'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

    Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

    Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
    Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

    Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

    The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
    Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

    Vince Cable exclusive interview

    Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
    Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

    Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

    Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
    Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

    It's time for my close-up

    Meet the man who films great whites for a living
    Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

    Homeless people keep mobile phones

    A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before