NHS Blood and Transplant, in collaboration with the four UK Governments, has today launched the new NHS Organ Donor Register.
The new Register, rebuilt to meet the needs of the 21st century, offers more options for those who join while still ensuring the process is as quick and easy as possible.
Anyone in the UK can use the Register to join the 21 million people already registered who want to donate their organs and save lives. Using a simple menu people can pick from a number of options including registering that they want to donate their organs, registering that they do not want to donate their organs and nominating others to make the decision for them after their death.
The ethnicity and religion of people joining the register will also be anonymously collected. This will support our ongoing work to develop an Organ Donor Register that truly reflects the composition of the UK population. This is also of vital importance to those patients waiting for transplants. People from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities are more likely to need a transplant than the rest of the population. Blood and tissue types from people from the same ethnic background are more likely to match and blood and tissue types must match for a successful transplant.
People joining the register or amending their details can also opt in to receive information from us in the future. We know that many people want to help us to raise awareness of the importance of donation and make the UK a nation in which anyone who can donate their organs is proud to do so. Those opting in will receive information so they can keep up to date with upcoming campaigns to promote organ donation.
In addition to rebuilding the Organ Donor Register NHS Blood and Transplant has reviewed the online user journey for people visiting the NHS organ donation website: www.organdonation.nhs.uk. Based on research, the navigation and content has been fully updated to provide a more user friendly service to the UK public.
Anthony Clarkson, Assistant Director for Organ Donation and Nursing at NHS Blood and Transplant said:
"The Organ Donor Register has proved to be a fantastic tool in helping us to identify people who want to donate their organs after their death. The new Register with new functions means that we can all make our intentions even clearer.
"We are constantly working to increase the number of deceased organ donors in the UK. The easy to complete yet more detailed, registration page will provide us with information such as ethnicity that will benefit potential transplant patients but was unable to be routinely collected on the old Register.
"Providing up to date and easy to understand information about organ donation is key to helping people decide that they want to donate their organs. As well as working with the four UK Governments to develop the new Organ Donor Register we took the opportunity to update our own organ donation website: organdonation.nhs.uk. The new website is easy to navigate, easy to understand and we believe it answers many of the questions that anyone thinking of joining the Organ Donor Register may have.
"We will always take every opportunity to ensure that there are more organs available for those in need of a transplant. Very few people die in circumstances where they could potentially become a life saving Organ Donor - only about 1% of those that die each year in the UK do so in circumstances where they could donate their organs. As a consequence every potential donor is very precious and it is important that those who wish to donate have their wishes followed. We know that families are more likely to agree to donation going ahead when their relative has stated their decision to donate. We hope that the new Register will lead to more people recording what they want, more families agreeing to donation and more lives being saved in future through organ donation."
The new Organ Donor Register has been designed and developed by Northgate Public Services (NPS), a company with vast experience in health registries and eligibility and entitlement software platforms as well as the services to operate them. NPS has ensured a seamless transition to the new Organ Donor Register and that personal data is kept safe.
Ian Blackhurst, Executive Director of Solutions at NPS, said:
"We have experience of developing secure, adaptable and powerful software platforms and we are delighted to be working in partnership with NHS Blood and Transplant."
To join the NHS Organ Donor Register visit organdonation.nhs.uk or call 0300 123 23 23.
Notes to editors