Statement: NHS Blood and Transplant welcomes Human Transplantation (Wales) law

Tuesday, 10 Sep 2013

The Human Transplantation (Wales) bill became law on Tuesday  10th September 2013 following Royal Assent.

This law aims to increase the number of people in Wales who  donate their organs after death.

The law itself will be fully implemented on 1 December 2015. Before  then, the Welsh Government will run a major two year information  campaign to ensure everyone is fully informed on what the  changes will mean and the choices they can make.

The new legislation will give Welsh residents the opportunity to  express an intention to be an organ donor and, for the first  time, make it possible to record a refusal to donate. They will  also be able to record the name of an 'appointed representative'  to make the decision on their behalf. Any qualifying Welsh  resident who does not record their intentions will be deemed to  have consented to donation. Families will be given the  opportunity to let hospital clinicians and specialist nurses for  organ donation know about any firm intentions that had not been  recorded before their relative's death.

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

"We welcome the Welsh Government's commitment to increasing the  number of deceased organ donors and saving more lives through  transplantation.

"Over the next two years, before the new law is fully implemented,  people in Wales will hear the options available to them and  about the importance of donation through a major information  campaign. We hope this spotlight on donation and how transplants  save lives will convince each and every person that they should  proudly make a decision to donate.

"With three people dying every day across the UK in need of a  transplant, and with more than four out of ten families  currently refusing donation when approached, we ask everybody  who supports donation wherever they live in the UK to join the  NHS Organ Donor Register now and to tell those closest to them  their decision to donate.

"In the UK, although more than half a million people die every  year, fewer than 5,000 die in circumstances where they can  become organ donors - so every potential donor is incredibly  precious. If you want to save or transform up to nine lives,  register your decision to do so now at: www.organdonation.nhs.uk  or by calling 0300 123 23 23."

As the UK Organ Donation organisation, NHSBT is working closely  with the Welsh Government to implement the new legislation  successfully. NHSBT will also continue to promote the need for  more people to give consent for donation by joining the ODR and  by talking to their families about their decision.

Read the Welsh Government's announcement about the law  receiving Royal Assent.

For more information about the legislation, visit:  http://wales.gov.uk/organdonation

Ends

For additional information please contact Andrea Ttofa by  calling 01923 367 634 or the NHSBT Press Office on 01923 367600

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.