GOLD has already started a quality improvement project across three transplant centres in London to improve access to living donation for Black kidney patients. These projects offer a simple, but effective way to encourage and support living donation in your organisation.
The Phone Buddy Scheme is a much-needed quality improvement project that will help bridge the equity gap in living donation kidney transplantation for Black kidney patients.Consultant surgeon
Renal Clinical Teams
Our quality improvement project (QIP) is a collaboration between Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital and King’s College Hospital. Our aim is to increase pre-emptive transplantation for Black African Caribbean kidney patients by improving access to living kidney donation.
At the heart of the project is the desire to deliver equitable healthcare for Black kidney patients.
The Phone Buddy Scheme
GOLD aims to increase the number of pre-emptive transplants (transplants before someone needs to start renal replacement therapy) for Black African Caribbean kidney patients in the UK by embedding an early targeted community intervention in the recipient pathway. The intervention will help change the culture for clinicians when discussing living donation kidney transplantation(LDKT) with Black patients and will also allow Black patients to consider living donation as renal replacement therapy alongside dialysis.
Why the Phone Buddy Scheme?
We know that living donor kidney transplantation (LDKT) offers people with end stage kidney disease the best opportunity for a successful transplant, with excellent donor, recipient, and transplant outcomes. It is the only option that offers the patient and their family a chance to plan transplantation and to avoid commencing dialysis, which has a significant impact on people’s lives — especially Black African Caribbean kidney patients. who spend longer on dialysis.
However, many patients from the Black African Caribbean community don’t consider living donations. This is a problem that GOLD wants to address. We started the phone buddy scheme in London as a practical solution to improve access to living kidney donations for Black African Caribbean kidney patients.
The phone buddy scheme will help change the default mindset for many Black patients to transplant first dialysis second.akcc nurse
How the Phone Buddy Scheme works
The scheme pairs Black kidney patients with buddies from their own community who have lived experience of living kidney donation. The matching process takes into consideration age, gender, ethnic background to ensure a good rapport between patient and buddy.
It’s a simple but effective concept to provide Black patients with information and knowledge about living donation from a community and cultural perspective. It often empowers and inspires patients to talk to friends and family. These conversations are so important as they could lead to a family member or friend coming forward to be tested as a donor before dialysis is needed.
I had such a positive experience with my buddy, they gave me the confidence to talk to my family and as a result my son has offered to be tested. I realised then that my life does not have to come to an end with my diagnosis. The support and regular phone calls from my buddy gave me hope and renewed optimism.Testimonial from a Patient referred to the Scheme.
We hope you will join us by implementing the quality improvement project in
your transplant centre.