In 2015, the West Midlands region had some of the longest waiting times for kidney transplants in the UK. The chances of a patient getting on the kidney transplant list before dialysis (known as pre-emptive listing) was lower than the average for the UK. Once, patients were listed for a kidney transplant, often they would wait more than three years for surgery. There were low acceptance rates for deceased donor kidneys which contributed to long waits on kidney units. Overall, the chance of a patient receiving a pre-emptive transplant in the region was lower than the national average for both deceased donor and living donor kidneys.
Evidence shows that patients who wait too long for a transplant experience poorer outcomes than those whose wait is shorter. A long wait for a transplant may result in the patient needing to have dialysis, or may prolong dialysis. This can affect the cardiovascular system and reduce life expectancy. Until a patient is on the transplant list there is no possibility of them receiving a kidney, so getting onto the list promptly is crucial.