‘Operation Donation’ hits shopping centres to create a ‘buzz’ in support of organ donation

3 March 2016

Do you know how many people die waiting for an organ transplant every day in the UK? Or how many people on the NHS Organ Donor Register have also told their family they want to be a donor?

Across the UK there is a shortage of organ donors which means on average 3 people a day die in need of a transplant..

In a bid to try and increase awareness of organ donation, NHS Blood and Transplant has teamed up with board game company Hasbro to create a life size version of the much loved children’s game Operation™.

Shoppers at various locations across northern England and the Midlands will be invited to see how much they know about the various organs in the body and learn how important it is to talk about organ donation.

One person who knows how vital it is for people to agree to organ donation is Anglican minister Joyce Herdson from Radcliffe in Manchester who received a lung transplant after battling with Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis.

Joyce said: “I was so poorly and had been on the transplant list for almost a year without a single call before I got my transplant. All my friends were praying for a miracle.

"By going on the Organ Donation Register we all have the opportunity to be the answer to someone's prayer and it’s so important that people tell their families they want to donate so that more people like me can get a second chance at life."

Staff from NHS Blood and Transplant, members of various Organ Donation Committees and those who have benefitted from lifesaving organ transplants will be visiting shopping centres in Manchester, Derby, Burton-on-Trent, Sheffield, Leicester and Nottingham challenging people to have a go at removing organs from ‘Cavity Sam’ and matching them up with some facts and figures about organ donation. Like the popular game, players have two minutes to complete the task, but if they buzz they will have to start again.

It’s all part of trials to increase organ donation awareness among groups currently under-represented on the NHS Organ Donor Register, these include people from Black and Asian Minority ethnic communities and the over-50s.

NHS Blood and Transplant Specialist Nurse for Organ Donation, Dawn Lee said: “There are currently around 10,000 people in the UK in need of a transplant and the truth is that there are simply not enough organs available.  One organ donor can transform the lives of up to nine people. To save more lives through organ donation we need it to be a subject that we all talk about, in everyday conversation. We need more people to join the NHS Organ Donor Register and to tell their families they want to be an organ donor

“It is vital people of all ages, backgrounds and ethnicities agree to organ donation and discuss it with their families. That way, should the time come your family will know you want to donate your organs.”

As part of the wider campaign, NHS Blood and Transplant have support from the likes of Manchester Fire and Rescue, Greater Manchester Police, Burton Albion Football Club, Notts County FC and Rotherham City Council who are all promoting organ donation and encouraging people to have the conversation and sign up to become donors.

Joining the NHS Organ Donor Register really is a simple process – it takes two minutes. Visit www.organdonation.nhs.uk or call 0300 123 23 23.  Let your friends and family know when you have signed the Organ Donor Register and join the conversation online by using the hash tag #timetosign


  • For additional information please contact the NHS Blood and Transplant Press Office on 01923 367600 or pressoffice@nhsbt.nhs.uk
  • For out of hours enquiries please call: 0117 969 2444.

Notes to editors

  • NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) is a joint England and Wales Special Health Authority. Its remit includes the provision of a reliable, efficient supply of blood and associated services to the NHS in England and North Wales. It is also the organ donor organisation for the UK and is responsible for matching and allocating donated organs.
  • The NHS Organ Donor Register records the details of people who have registered their wishes to donate organs and/or tissue after their death for transplantation. This information is used by authorised medical staff to establish whether a person wanted to donate.
  • It’s simple to join the ODR by:
  • going to www.organdonation.nhs.uk
  • ringing 0300 123 23 23
  • Anyone can register on the ODR. Age isn’t a barrier to being an organ or tissue donor and neither are most medical conditions. People in their 70’s and 80’s have become donors and saved many lives.
  • One donor can save or transform up to nine lives and many more can be helped through the donation of tissues.
  • There are currently around 10,000 people in the UK in need of an organ transplant. This figure changes constantly though as people join and leave the transplant list.
  • Three people a day across the UK die before they get the organ they need – that’s over 1,000 people every year