Organ Donation

About Us

As one of the three arms of NHSBT, ODTs key role is to ensure that organs donated for transplant are matched and allocated to patients in a fair and unbiased way. Matching, particularly in the case of kidneys, is so important that donation and allocation needs to be organised nationally. The larger the pool of organs, the better the likelihood there is of a good match.

Unlike some other NHS organisations, ODT do not have a direct relationship with patients and do not provide "hands on" care. However, in providing support to transplantation services across the UK, everything ODT does has an impact on the quality of service delivered to individual patients.

ODT's specific responsibilities include:

  • managing the UK Transplant Registry which includes details of all donors and patients who are waiting for, or who have received, a transplant;
  • providing a 24-hour service for the matching and allocation of donated organs and making the transport arrangements to get the organs to patients;
  • maintaining the national NHS Organ Donor Register;
  • improving organ donation rates by funding initiatives in the wider NHS;
  • contributing to the development of performance indicators, standards and protocols which guide the work of organ donation and transplantation;
  • acting as a central point for information on transplant matters;
  • providing central support to all transplant units in the UK;
  • auditing and analysing the results of all organ transplants in the UK and Republic of Ireland to improve patient care;
  • raising public awareness of the importance of organ donation.

History of Organ Donation and Transplantation Directorate (formerly UK Transplant)

UK Transplant was established in 1991 as the UK Transplant Support Service Authority (UKTSSA). In July 2000, UK Transplant was formed with a new, extended remit to increase organ donation rates. In October 2005 UK Transplant merged with the National Blood Service and Bio Products Laboratory to form NHS Blood and Transplant, an NHS Special Health Authority responsible for optimising the supply of blood, organs, plasma and tissues and raising the quality, effectiveness and efficiency of blood and transplant services.

1968 National Tissue Typing and Reference Laboratory (NTTRL) established at Southmead Hospital, Bristol

1972 National Organ Matching and Distribution Service (MOMDS) founded.

1979 NTTRL and NOMDS merge to become UK Transplant Service.

1991 UK Transplant Service becomes Special Health Authority and is renamed United Kingdom Transplant Support Service Authority (UKTSSA).

1993 UKTSSA moves to purpose-built accommodation at Stoke Gifford, Bristol.

2000 UK Transplant takes over from UKTSSA with new, extended remit.

2005 UK Transplant merges with the National Blood Service and Bio Products Laboratory to form NHS Blood and Transplant.

2008 UK Transplant renamed Directorate of Organ Donation & Transplantation.

Join the Organ Donor Register 0300 123 23 23