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What is the NHS Organ Donor Register?

The NHS Organ Donor Register is a confidential record of people's organ donation decisions. It records your choice whether to become an organ donor or not when you die.

Your organs, your choice

The NHS Organ Donor Register is not just a list of people who want to become organ donors when they die. It also includes people who do not wish to become a donor, and people who want someone else to make an organ donation decision on their behalf. 

How is it used?

If you die in circumstances in which organ donation is possible, a specialist nurse will check the NHS Organ Donor Register to see if you had recorded a decision about organ donation and discuss this with your family.

If you had recorded a decision to become an organ donor, they will also be able to see whether you said that you would like NHS staff to discuss your faith or beliefs with your family before organ donation goes ahead.

Your family will always be approached if organ or tissue donation is a possibility, and your faith, beliefs and culture will always be respected. If you had already made a decision about donation and shared this with your family, they would be expected to support your decision.

Sharing your decision with your family will give them the confidence that they know what you want, and will make it easier for them to honour your decision.

Get more information about how consent for organ donation is established

Am I automatically on an organ donor list?

No one is automatically added to a list. Unless you record your decision on the NHS Organ Donor Register, we will not hold any details about you or your preferences.

We encourage everyone, whether they want to donate or not, to add themselves to the NHS Organ Donor Register so that their decision is recorded.

If you have not recorded an organ donation decision and you are not in one of the excluded groups, the starting position for adults in England and Wales is that donation should go ahead. This is what is known as deemed consent. You may also hear it referred to as an 'opt out' system for organ donation. 

You can still choose whether or not you want to be an organ donor when you die by recording your decision and telling your family. 

There are different organ donation systems in place across different countries within the United Kingdom. Get information about the law where you are

Why should I register a decision?

Having your decision recorded on the NHS Organ Donor Register helps NHS specialist nurses to quickly understand what you want to happen and enables them to discuss this with your family.  

If you do not want to donate your organs, you should record this on the Register. Without a recorded decision, if you are not in one of the excluded groups, in England and Wales it will be considered that you agree to donate your organs when you die.

There are different organ donation systems in place across different countries within the United Kingdom. Get information about the law where you are

See how consent for organ donation is established

When recording your decision, you also have the opportunity to say whether there are issues of faith or belief that you would like to be taken into consideration at the time of your death.

Who can register a decision?

Anyone living in the UK, Channel Islands or Isle of Man can register a decision on the NHS Organ Donor Register, there is no age limit, and parents can register their children.

Having an illness or medical condition doesn't stop you from registering your organ donation decision, and specialist healthcare professionals decide in each individual case whether organs and tissue are suitable for donation.

Get more information about who can donate

If you don't want to make an organ donation decision yourself, you can nominate someone to do it for you in the event of your death. 

Nominate a representative now

How do I register my decision?

The quickest way to register your decision is online. 

Have you recorded your organ donation decision?

Make your choice

To register by phone, call us on: 0300 123 23 23.

What happens when I register my decision?

When you register your organ donation decision:

  • We will add your details and decision to the NHS Organ Donor Register
  • We will send you a letter confirming this within 10 days
  • You should then talk to your family, and make sure they know what you want

The Organ Donor Card

We send an Organ Donor Card to everybody who registers to donate for the first time.

The Organ Donor Card can be also downloaded, allowing you to share your decision instantly.

We don’t send you a new donor card if you amend your details, re-register, or opt out.

If you have lost your donor card and would like a replacement you can print your own organ donor card.

Alternatively, contact the Organ Donor Line on 0300 123 23 23. We are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

What if I don't register a decision?

If there is no record of your decision on the NHS Organ Donor Register, and you are not in one of the excluded groups, in England and Wales it will be considered that you agree to donate your organs when you die.

There are different organ donation systems in place across different countries within the United Kingdom. Get information about the law where you are

Specialist nurses will always speak to your family if organ donation is a possibility, so let your family know what you want and help them to honour your choice.

Can I change my mind?

Yes, you can change your recorded decision at any time.

If you have recorded an organ donation decision on the NHS Organ Donor Register and want to update your details, or change or reaffirm your decision, you can complete the Amend your details form or call 0300 123 23 23.

We will match your details and decision with your previous entry and send you a letter to confirm any changes. 

Can I check if I am already registered?

Unless you record your decision on the NHS Organ Donor Register, we will not hold any details about you or your organ donation preferences. No one is automatically added to a list. Get more information here

If you think you may already have recorded a decision in the past but are not sure, please get in touch and we will check for you.

  • Call us on 0300 123 23 23, or
  • Write to us at FREEPOST RRZKSHUX-SBCK, NHSBT, Fox Den Road, Stoke Gifford, Bristol BS34 8RR. You will need to provide your full name, date of birth and address to find out this information, please also provide a contact number.

Don’t worry if you register your decision for the second time. We will match your details and send you a letter to confirm any changes. 

You can also update your details and preferences or withdraw an existing registration online. 



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