Leicester General Hospital suspends kidney transplants

Surgeons in Leicester
Image caption About seven people will have their kidney transplant operation in Leicester cancelled in the next two weeks

Kidney transplants in Leicester have been suspended for at least two weeks while an urgent review is carried out.

The service was stopped after concerns were raised over the number of organs rejected by Leicester General Hospital.

University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust called for an external review which found problems with its procedures.

It has suspended the service while changes are made affecting about seven patients.

Experts were called in January after it was revealed the hospital appeared to refuse a higher than average number of kidneys offered to Leicester's Renal Transplant Service.

The review team visited last week to speak to staff, examine paperwork and patients' outcomes.

It found no patients had been harmed, the trust said, but it raised questions about the "policies, processes and guidelines" and also the way the team worked together.

Andrew Furlong, the trust's deputy medical director, said it was "incredibly disappointing".

He added: "We have decided to pause the surgery because for this, or any other kind of complex surgical procedure, we have to have cast iron processes, policies and procedures underpinning the surgery itself and good team working between the clinicians, until it can be independently verified that these are in place we would prefer to err on the side of caution."

The review team will return in two weeks and will make further recommendations including whether kidney transplants should resume.

Three patients were due to have live transplants in the next two weeks with a further four estimated to receive kidneys from dead donors. These may all now move to Nottingham.

NHS Blood and Transplant said any kidneys rejected by Leicester would have been used elsewhere.

Last week, the Care Quality Commission found Leicester General Hospital "needed improvement".

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