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Kidney Transplants

Volume 961: debated on Tuesday 30 January 1979

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will make a statement on the adequacy of provision for kidney transplant surgery within the National Health Service.

I am satisfied that there are adequate facilities for transplanting all the available donor kidneys within the National Health Service. Despite a recent welcome increase in the number of kidneys being transplanted, the continuing shortage of donor kidneys is the major factor preventing a further increase in the number of transplants taking place. I am taking several measures to improve the supply of kidneys by encouraging more people through the kidney donor card scheme to become kidney donors, and hospital staff to identify suitable donors and initiate the process of organ removal. These measures include the production of a film for use by transplant surgeons to demonstrate the value of kidney transplantation and the accompanying procedures to other hospital staff, and the setting up of a working party, under the chairmanship of Lord Smith, to produce a code of practice for the removal of organs for transplantation.