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Liver transplantation (LT) is a life-saving treatment for patients with end-stage chronic liver disease. Given the negative impact of distance from transplant centre on patient outcomes,1 2 King’s College Hospital (KCH) developed a network of satellite liver transplant centres (SLTCs) in Plymouth and Belfast to optimise access to LT.3 These centres deliver transplant assessment and comparable post-LT care to conventional LT centres.4 However, patients are still required to complete their assessments at KCH prior to listing.
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused unprecedented strain on health services globally. The UK LT programme was affected with transplantation and assessment occurring only in patients with urgent need.5 However, patients at SLTCs were also subject to travel restrictions which further disadvantaged them compared with local patients. A virtual transplant assessment (VTA) pathway was developed to allow SLTCs to assess their patients for LT locally and to discuss listing without attendance at KCH. Here, we describe our first experiences with this novel pathway.
We retrospectively included all patients from both SLTCs who completed an LT assessment between April 2020 and April 2021. The decision for a VTA was made by consensus decision from the …
Contributors All authors contributed to conceptualisation and design. Data collection was performed by AP, FB, KR and WL. Data analysis and interpretation were performed by ODT. The manuscript was drafted by AP, FB and VRA. All authors made critical revisions and approved the final version of the manuscript
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
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