UK organ donations falling
12:25pm Thursday 15th August 2013 in News
LATEST figures on organ donation rates in the UK show donations are falling.
Health Minister Mark Drakeford said the figures will feed into the work over the next two years as Wales prepares to become the first UK nation to introduce a soft opt-out system.
Figures, from NHS Blood and Transplant, show 149 patients received organs from 52 deceased organ donors between April 2012 and March 2013.
Over the same period in 2011/12 there were 67 deceased organ donors.
This confirms an overall fall in deceased organ donations in Wales, from 67 in 2011/12 to 52 in 2012/13.
The minister said that, while the figures for Wales are down on the same period last year, they must be put in context.
Mark Drakeford said, the numbers of deceased organ donors in Wales had followed generally positive trend in the past five years but as the the latest figures show they cannot be taken for granted year on year.
He said: “The need to increase the number of donations underpinned the Welsh Government’s legislation on organ donation, which was recently approved for introduction in 2015. We believe a system of deemed consent is the most effective way to increase the numbers of organs available for transplant and save lives."
Until 2015, the current opt-in system will remain in place.
The Welsh Government says in a soft opt-out system a person’s consent to donation will be deemed to have been given unless they objected during their lifetime - a process called opting out - but where those closest to the deceased will still have an important role to play in the process.
Members of the public can currently sign up to the NHS Organ Donor Register in a variety of ways, including:
•by contacting the NHS Donor Line (0300 123 23 23);
•when registering for a driving licence with the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA);
•when registering with a GP;
•when requesting a European Health Insurance Card; and
•applying for a Boots Advantage Card.