Live updates

'Revolution' in attitudes on organ donation needed

There needs to be a "revolution" in societal attitudes towards organ donation so more lives can be saved, the NHS Blood and Transplant (NHS BT) has said.

The proportion of families who agree to organ donation after the death of a family member remains "stubbornly low", NHS BT spokeswoman Sally Johnson said.

Doctor carries box with an organ for transplant.
Organ donations in the UK are at their highest level ever, the NHS BT has said. Credit: Soeren Stache/DPA/Press Association Images

Figures show that during 2013/14, more than four in 10 families approached about organ donation said no to donating a loved one's organs.

"Family refusal is our biggest problem and it's sad we lag so far behind some other countries in terms of consent/authorisation rates to donation," she added.

Organ donations in the UK 'at highest level ever'

More people are donating their organs in Britain than ever, according to health officials

The last financial year was a "record year" for organ donation and transplantation in the UK, NHS Blood and Transplant (NHS BT) has said.

File photo of an organ donor card.
In 2013/14 there were 4,655 transplants carried out - a 10% rise on the previous year. Credit: Clive Gee/PA Archive

In 2013/14 there were 4,655 transplants carried out - a 10% rise on the previous year, a spokeswoman said.

New figures, published by the authority to mark National Transplant Week, show that almost one in four of the transplants were organs from "living donors".

The remainder of organ donations came after a death.

Advertisement

Officials 'Heartfelt thanks' to organ donor's families

NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) officials have offered their "heartfelt thanks" to the families who donated their deceased loved one's organs and "helped transform the lives of others".

Sally Johnson, director of organ donation and transplantation at NHSBT, said.

Last year we set out our aspiration to match the best countries in the world for organ donation and transplantation, and if we are going to achieve this we will need to see a revolution in attitudes in society towards donation.

The increase in donors reflects increasing support in hospitals to refer potential donors to us and more families being approached, but there has been little change in our attitude to donation over the last few years. It's still not something we would all be proud to do.

Read: Record number donate organs in the UK

Record number donate organs in the UK

A record number of people have donated organs after death in the UK, health officials announced.

Last year organs were taken from 1,323 people who died - a 13.7% rise on the previous year, NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) said.

A special container for the transport of donated organs is seen in a hospital
A special container for the transport of donated organs is seen in a hospital Credit: Soeren Stache/DPA/Press Association Images

The organs were given to 3,500 people, a spokeswoman for the body, which is responsible for organ donations in the health service, said.

The figures for 2013 also show that 58.6% of bereaved families who were asked to donate their loved one's organs did so - a rise from 56.5% the previous year.

Advertisement

Organ donation for young children can be 'really tough'

My heart goes out to all the families that find themselves in the position where they have to make a decision about organ donation.

In particular, the decision to donate on behalf of a young child is really tough. But organ donation saves lives and donor families talk with pride of the difficult but ultimately rewarding decision to donate their loved one's organs. Knowing that they have helped save another family from a terrible experience, often helps them deal with their grief.

There are around 10,000 people in the UK in need of a transplant and some of these are young children. In order to save more lives, we need more people to join the organ donor register.

– Sally Johnson, Director of Organ Donation and Transplantation at NHS Blood and Transplant

Five-week-old baby Britain's youngest organ donor

A five-week-old baby has become the youngest organ donor in Britain according to a report in the Sunday Times.

The child died earlier this year from heart failure and their kidneys were transplanted to 22-year-old Samira Kauser.

A five-week-old baby has become Britain's youngest organ donor.
A five-week-old baby has become Britain's youngest organ donor. Credit: Angelika Warmuth

The paper claims that younger donors are being sought due to the shortage of adult organ donors.

Find out more about organ donation.

Central

Priority surgery for organ donors

A Midlands doctor is calling for a radical approach to increase the number of black and Asian people donating their organs.

Organ donating forms Credit: ITV News Central

According to Dr Adnan Sharif, a kidney consultant at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, the UK should consider a scheme where priority for surgery is given to people already on the organ donor register.

He says there has been a 'huge failure' to boost organ donation rates among Asian and other ethnic minority groups.

Calls for new approach to organ donation

Relatives of non-white people are also less likely than white people to give consent for organ donation from loved ones who have died in appropriate circumstances for donation.

Simply pushing for more registrants on the organ donor register is not the solution because only a third of eventual donors are actually registered at the time of their death.

A new approach should be to tackle the elephant in the room: the problem of apathy or so called free riders - people who are happy to receive an organ but not to donate.

– Dr Adnan Sharif, a kidney consultant at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham
Load more updates

Advertisement

Today's top stories