PERFORMANCE: Kings College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust has issued a statement denying reports that private non-EU patients are being placed on the trust’s waiting lists.

It said that in light of press reports about about liver transplants at King’s it wanted to make a number of points in the interests of clarity.

It said: “King’s treats liver transplant patients from other European countries because they are entitled to NHS treatment. All patients are assessed and prioritised for surgery according to clinical need, regardless of where they are from.   All UK and European patients have the same rights to NHS treatment, and donated organs.

“A small number of non-EU patients come to King’s for liver transplant surgery as private patients. These patients are not placed on King’s waiting list. They only receive UK donor organs once these have been declared unusable for any NHS entitled patient in the country. If these same organs weren’t subsequently used for non-EU patients, for which we have high success rates, they would be discarded, and potentially deny someone a chance of life.

“Our transplant team regularly retrieve organs from European countries and transports them back to King’s for use in UK NHS patients.

“All the processes we have in place for liver transplant surgery at King’s are fully audited. They are also in line with national protocols set and monitored by NHS Blood and Transplant and the Department of Health. The vast majority of liver transplant operations carried out at King’s are for UK NHS patients.”