1. ITV Report

Nearly three quarters of people in Wales would donate organs

Credit: PA

The organ donation consent rate in Wales has increased by 7% from last year, according to the latest NHS Blood and Transplant figures.

Wales has the highest consent rate of all the UK nations, now 77%, up from 58% in 2015, when the opt-out system of consent to organ donation was introduced.

of people in Wales signed up to the opt-in register last year.
signed up to the opt-out register last year.

Wales became the first country in the UK to introduce an opt-out system of consent to organ donation, which means if a person has not registered a decision to become an organ donor (opted in) or a decision not to become an organ donor (opted out), they will be considered as having no objection to being an organ donor.

Last year, there were 222 people waiting on the 'Active Transplant Waiting List' and 24 patients died while waiting for organs.

  • There were 96 deceased donors and 44 living donors from Welsh residents.
  • There has been an 18% increase in the number of deceased donors donating compared to last year.
  • There were 171 transplants from deceased donors to Welsh residents.
  • There were 222 people waiting on the Active Transplant Waiting List and 24 patients died while on the active list.
  • 15 families overruled organ donation.
  • 4 families overruled their loved ones opt-in decision.

Ywain Shakespeare from the Rhondda Valley had a life-saving liver transplant at just 31 years old.

Credit: Family photo

Coming to terms with having the organ of someone who's passed away saving you, it's the weirdest feeling in the world and you've got all these emotions going through you... and survivor's guilt.

– Ywain Shakespeare

He now supports others who have received organ donations and even set up a charity football team for people who have had transplants.

Ywain at football practice with his team Gobaith Cymru FC. Credit: ITV Cymru Wales

Every organ donation is potentially life-saving gift. I am very pleased to see the consent rate continues to rise in Wales. It shows the introduction of the pioneering opt-out system is having a real effect and it is great to see England and Scotland now following our lead.

None of this would have been possible without the generosity of donors and their families, who give their support. As well as the dedication of all the clinical staff involved, that we are now leading the way.

Communicating your organ donation decision to family and loved ones is crucial to ensuring we get more donors. If you know you want to be an organ donor, then simply tell your loved ones. Your family will be involved in any discussions about organ donation if you are in a position to donate your organs when you die.

– Vaughan Gething AM, Health Secretary