5. Coronavirus (COVID-19)
5.1. Update on current issues
32. Lynne Ayton, representing the Golden Jubilee National Hospital advised that the 2020/21 transplantation numbers for heart transplantations were up in comparison with other transplant centres in the UK and that patient outcomes were good. Lynne also highlighted that face-to-face appointments had resumed, however Near Me was still being used for remote appointments where appropriate.
33. John Asher, representing the West of Scotland Renal Transplant service, advised that there had been 86 transplants this financial year and assessments being higher than normal. However, he stressed the high prevalence of COVID-19 in the West of Scotland, which was effecting staffing and patients, has led to operations being cancelled.
34. Gabi Oniscu, representing the Edinburgh Transplant Unit, reported that activity was lower compared to previous months, but they have also seen an increase in assessments. He also noted that there had been challenges around staffing (especially surgery). Edinburgh are also actively recruiting for two consultant posts.
35. Gabi also advised that due to the lack of the allocation of livers to Scotland, Edinburgh has seen the highest liver mortality rates for people on the waiting list in the last month.
36. Lesley Ross emphasised that it was important that there was a clear message to the transplant community as to what people should do if they caught COVID-19. There was consideration about how this could be done via modern technology and Lesley noted that it was important that NHS Inform were kept up-to-date with the current processes to respond to queries from transplant recipients.
Action 6 – Meeting to be arranged between the Policy Team and NSD to consider how best to communicate with NHS Inform – Scottish Government/ Roseanne McDonald, NSD
Action 7 – Communicating COVID-19 updates for transplant recipients to be raised at next COVID-19 planning meeting on 23 November – John Casey, Clinical Advisor for Transplantation in Scotland
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