NHS and Government take steps to boost Organ donation registrations

Plans announced to introduce organ donation registration option to passport applications.

22 September 2023

This Organ Donation Week (18th - 24th September) NHS Blood and Transplant and the Department of Health and Social Care are coming together in partnership with the Home Office with a commitment to boost organ donation registration and save more lives today and in the future.

Next year, a new link will appear in the passport application process to enable adults applying to renew their passport to confirm their support for organ donation on the NHS Organ Donor Register.

A passport renewal is something nearly every adult in the UK will do during their lifetime. Passport applications are therefore seen as one of the best ways to reach every adult and provide information about the benefits of organ donation.

Meeting the need

Currently, over 7,000 people are waiting for a life-saving transplant, the highest number in almost a decade. Clinicians have also warned that opportunities for life-saving transplants are still been missed, with 1,130 families declining to donate their loved ones organs last year.

NHS Blood and Transplant data shows that organ donation is still most likely to go ahead when a potential donor has proactively confirmed their decision to donate on the NHS Organ Donor Register, with 9 out of 10 families supporting donation when their loved one has confirmed their decision on the register.

As it stands 30 million people have recorded their organ donation decision on the NHS Organ Donor Register, representing approximately 45% of the total population. A large number of registrations come through partner channels, including a long-term partnership with the DVLA which currently accounts for 69% of all registrations as well as the NHS app, which has enabled 500,000 new organ donation registrations since it launched and a total of 2.8million decisions to be created, viewed and/or updated since it was launched in 2019.

Given only one per cent of people will die in the right circumstances for their organs to be donated, government ministers have been exploring new digital routes to inspire people to record their decision. More details of the process and exact timings for the new organ donation option will be shared in coming months.


The theme for this year’s Organ Donation Week is ‘The best thing you’ll do today’.

Just two minutes now could save up to nine lives.

Find out more about this year's Organ Donation Week campaign