The Addenbrooke’s living donor coordinator team is here to support anyone wanting to donate a kidney to a family member, relative, friend or stranger. Addenbrooke’s provides the transplant service for nearly 3 million people in East Anglia, and has strong links with our referring centres in Stevenage, Norwich, Ipswich, Chelmsford and Colchester. We perform about 50 living donor transplants each year.

Kidney donation

About a third of all kidney transplants in the UK now come from living donors. The majority of these are from a donor who is a close friend or relative of the person needing the kidney (the recipient).  However it is also possible to donate a kidney to a stranger, in much the same way that blood is donated (altruistic donation).  Addenbrooke’s has a special interest in transplanting kidneys if the donor and recipient are ‘incompatible’ – either because of a positive cross match or incompatible ABO blood group.  We participate in the National Living Donor Kidney Sharing Scheme (NLDKSS) for incompatible pairs and also offer highly specialized treatments to allow direct transplantation between incompatible donor-recipient pairs.

The process

There are three live donor co-ordinators and between us we have over sixty years of experience as transplant nurses.  Our role is to support anyone who may be considering live donation of one of their kidneys and guide them through the process of testing and counselling, which is the live donor work-up.  As far as possible we arrange for tests and consultations at the convenience of the donor and endeavour to minimise the number of visits made to the hospital.  As well as diagnostic tests the prospective donors will be assessed by a nephrologist and a renal counsellor.  Assessment then culminates in a joint meeting for donor and recipient with our transplant surgeons.

Kidney donors for Addenbrooke’s patients can come from anywhere in the world.

Addenbrooke’s provides the transplant service for substantially the whole of East Anglia, and as such has strong links with our referring centres in Norwich, Ipswich, Colchester, Chelmsford and Stevenage.  The live donor team arranges assessment of potential live kidney donors in the Addenbrooke’s region, as well as liaising with renal nurses and coordinators in our referring centres.  Donors nearer to our regional referring hospitals, or who live outside East Anglia, may begin workup at their local centre and will be handed over to the Addenbrooke’s team for the latter stages of their assessment.  

For altruistic donors the process is slightly different. All donors in the region are seen initially at Addenbrooke’s for an assessment of their physical, mental and psychosocial suitability before a decision is made whether to begin detailed assessment.

Legal requirements

All living donor transplantation is governed by the Human Tissue Act 2004.