The Living Kidney Transplant Scheme

Please note that applications for this round of funding have now closed.

About the scheme

The Living Kidney Transplant (LKT) scheme is part of NHS Blood and Transplant’s (NHSBT) commitment to build support for living donation and save and improve more lives.

The scheme funds community and faith and beliefs organisations to positively engage Black, Asian, Mixed Race and minority ethnic communities in living kidney donation as most religions support living donation viewing it as a gift to a loved one.

We also look for applicants that are focused on addressing health literacy and other capability barriers across the general population, therefore moving towards greater health equity for all.

Funded projects drive awareness of living donation, address misinformation and barriers, share information, and drive behaviour change therefore increasing support for living donation.

The Living Kidney Transplant Scheme is an extension of the Community Investment Scheme, which has been run by NHSBT over the last four years. Black, Asian and minority ethnic patients often have to wait significantly longer for a successful match, than white patients, due to a shortage of suitably matched donors.

The Living Kidney Transplant Scheme aims to address the barriers faced within these communities and provide more people with information around living donation, with the aim to save more lives.

We know that trusted local organisations can be successful at achieving these goals, due to their specialist knowledge, understanding and footprint in the community.

Aims of the scheme

The Living Kidney Transplant Scheme aims to:

  • Increase awareness and relevance of living donation across Black and Asian communities
  • Increase the diversity of prospective living donors
  • Increase the number of non directed living donors
  • Enable more patients to receive the best matched kidney

Why the scheme is needed

As set out in NHSBT’s latest organ and tissue donation and transplantation strategy, living donation will become an expected part of care, where clinically appropriate, for all in society.

Our Transplant Activity Report waiting list data shows that in particular, Black and Asian adults wait longer for a kidney transplant, on average around 10 and 5 months (respectively) longer than the White population.

Despite Black and Asian people representing about 10% of the UK population, they are highly over-represented on the transplant waiting list (26%).

Living donation sees a higher percentage of matching for these patients and is therefore critically important in reducing the inequity in waiting time.

Coupled with this, major research into kidney patients found strong evidence that people with reduced or low health literacy and/or capability barriers have reduced access to transplantation. We hope that projects invested in health literacy will develop new ways of addressing this.

For many patients in a need of a transplant the best match will come from a donor of the same ethnic background. Kidney donors and recipients are matched by blood group and tissue type, which means people from the same ethnic background are more likely to have matching blood groups and tissue types.

Projects funded by the scheme

There were two options for the latest round of funding depending on the idea, the geographical reach, and the project duration. 

The total funding budget was £100,000. You could apply for:

  • Projects £7,499 and under
  • Projects £7,500 - £15,000

Projects could apply to run over either 12 months or 18 months as appropriate to be able to measure an associated impact. Retrospective funding was not considered.

After a three-stage application process NHSBT awarded funding to seven successful organisations who will work with NHSBT to deliver their projects during 2022 and into 2023:

  • African Caribbean Leukaemia Trust (ACLT)
    Location: Greater London
    Community focus: Black (African and Caribbean) and Minority Ethnic

  • City Sikhs Foundation
    Location: Birmingham, Manchester and West London
    Community focus: South Asian (Sikh)

  • Community Barnet
    Location: North London (London Boroughs Brent, Harrow, Hillingdon, Ealing, Hammersmith and Fulham, Hounslow, Barnet, Camden, Enfield, Haringey and Islington)
    Community focus: Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (Somalian)

  • JHOD and Royal Free
    Location: Greater London
    Community focus: Black and Minority Ethnic (Hindu and Jain)

  • Nishkam Healthcare Trust
    Location: Midlands (Handsworth, Birmingham)
    Community focus: South Asian - Sikh community (Indian / Pakistani / Bangladeshi)

  • University of Leicester / Centre for Ethnic Health Research
    Location: Midlands (Leicester) / Online
    Community focus: Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic

  • Vanik Council UK
    Location: Greater London, North West and West London (Harrow, Brent, Hounslow and Ealing, North West London)
    Community focus: South Asian (Hindu and Jain)

Transplant centres

Use this interactive map to find your nearest living donation transplant centre.

There are 23 adult kidney transplant centres that facilitate living donations for both adult and paediatric recipients. These transplant centres perform living donations and assess potential living donors.

Each project involved in the latest round of NHSBT’s Living Kidney Transplant Community Investment Scheme will be connected with their nearest transplant centre meaning that they can work closely together to improve chances of the projects success and ultimately save and improve lives.

Access the interactive map

More information