“A kidney transplant is the gold standard of treatment for kidney failure,” says Fiona Loud, policy director at the British Kidney Patient Association (BKPA). “The good news is that of the 59,000 people in the UK whose kidneys have failed, 52 per cent are now living with a transplant. This year is the first time that people with transplants outnumber those on dialysis.”

But Loud says there is further to go before BKPA achieves its aim of ensuring that all kidney patients suitable for a transplant can access one. “Currently there are just over 5,000 people on the waiting list and on average one of those people dies each day.”

Average waiting time for a transplant in the UK is two to three years, compared to 15 to 18 months in Spain, the world leader in kidney transplant access.

Black and ethnic minority patients in the UK wait about a year longer, partly because of particular health issues and partly because fewer suitable donors come forward.

“Waiting times vary around the UK. We want to see these variations reduced,” says Loud. Meanwhile donations from live donors fell slightly to 937 in 2015. Deceased donor transplants were 2,035.

“We need to raise awareness that transplants bring a better quality of life,” says Loud, who has herself received a kidney transplant. “Swapping from dialysis to a transplant brings benefits for patients, their families and the social care system.” It also saves money. Dialysis costs on average £30,800 per patient per year. The first year of care after a transplant is £17,000 and then £5,000 for subsequent years.

“We want to see more people discussing the issue of donation. If you want to be an organ donor, add your name to the organ donor register and let your loved ones know now, so they do not have to consider it while grieving,” says Loud.

“Many families are proud that their loved one chose to give someone else the chance of life after their own death.”