Miss Dilly Little, the Surgical Director of the National Kidney Transplant Service at Beaumont Hospital has written to patients on the kidney transplant waiting list to assure them that “your status on the kidney transplant waiting list is not altered.”
The move came after the leaking of a letter in which senior staff at Beaumont Hospital, including Miss Little, advised consultants to suspend all unvaccinated patients from the kidney transplant waiting list.
Gript broke that story on Friday morning after verifying the authenticity of the letter, which was provided to Gript by the anti-lockdown activist Tracey O’Mahony.
After the publication of that piece a spokesperson for Beaumont Hospital announced that that letter had now been “superseded” and told Gript that “no patient, regardless of vaccination status, will be or has been removed from the transplant list.”
However, since the publication of our initial story Gript has talked to a number of patients at Beaumont who said that they had been suspended from the kidney transplant waiting list due to their lack of vaccination against COVID-19.
One patient, who said they had been directly told by their consultant that they had been suspended from the list, said that they had found the experience “shocking, highly coercive, and very distressing.” They detailed the difficulties they had experienced getting onto the transplant waiting list to begin with and said they had only told a small number of people about their suspension from the waiting list as they didn’t want to “upset other family members.” They accepted the need to protect vulnerable patients from complications arising from COVID-19, but said they believed that stringent COVID testing of patients and hospital staff would have been a more proportionate decision than the blanket ban initially put forward by Beaumont.
The policy now is place is that patients going for an organ transplant will be individually given a risk assessment, and vaccination status may be taken into consideration during that assessment. Patients considered to present too high a risk could face a “deferral of transplant surgery.”