Response to Prime Minister’s commitment on organ donation

4 October 2017

Sally Johnson, Director of Organ Donation and Transplantation at NHS Blood and Transplant said:

"NHS Blood and Transplant welcomes the commitment made in the Prime Minister’s speech to increasing organ donation and transplantation. We all want to see more lives saved and welcome anything which encourages more people to share their personal organ donation decision with their family.

“We hope this announcement will drive a national conversation about organ donation. Whatever legislation is in place, telling your family of your organ donation decision lets them know what you want to happen and means your family don't have to make a difficult decision when they are grieving.

“The shortage of donors means on average three people die a day in need of a transplant so we urge everyone to have the conversation today.

“Sadly nearly 1 in 5 people who die waiting for a transplant are from a black or Asian background. Even though 719 black or Asian people had a transplant in 2016/17 (22% of all transplants), black and Asian people still wait significantly longer for a kidney transplant. They are more likely to need a transplant due to genetic factors and it's harder to find a suitable organ for them without donations from their own community. It’s particularly important that black and Asian people talk about organ donation as without their donations their communities will continue to suffer.”

Note: NHSBT’s role is to work within whatever legislative frameworks are in place across the UK.

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