More families giving consent for organ donation in Wales

Credit: PA

Support for the opt-out system of organ donation in Wales has increased since the two years it has been in place.

Members of the public, and NHS staff, are now more in favour of the system, an evaluation of the Human Transplantation (Wales) Act has found.

However, unless adults in Wales have opted out, they are presumed to have consented to organ donation. Wales became the first UK country to move to a soft opt-out system of consent to organ donation in 2015.

In 2016/17, one more patient living in Wales received a cardiac transplant, while the number of people receiving a live kidney transplant increased by five.

However the Welsh Health Secretary, Vaughan Gething, acknowledged the consent rise was not reflected in the number of donors overall.

He says organ donation levels need to keep increasing in order to reduce the number of people dying waiting for transplants.

There has been an 18.5% decrease in the number of patients who died on the waiting list, data by NHS Blood and Transplant shows. 27 people died waiting for their transplant between 2015/16 whereas 22 died in 2016/17.

However, in the last year, families overrode their relatives' decisions to donate organs in 21 cases in Wales, or did not support the deemed consent.

This, a spokeswoman for the Welsh Government said, could have resulted in as many as 65 additional transplants.