UK aims to increase its organ donor rate by 50% over next eight years

BMJ 2013; 347 doi: (Published 11 July 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;347:f4500
  1. Nigel Hawkes
  1. 1London

Ambitious new targets have been set for increasing the UK rate of organ transplantation by 2020. The strategy contains no radical changes or headline grabbing initiatives, seeking rather to build on the success of the past five years, which have seen a 50% rise in organ donation.1

When this target was set in 2008 there was some scepticism that it could be achieved, but it was: the number of donors rose from 809 in 2007-08 to 1212 in 2012-13.

Sally Johnson, director of organ donation and transplantation at NHS Blood and Transplant, introducing the new strategy at a London press conference, said, “There has been tremendous progress over the last five years, and more lives have been saved, but there is a limit to what the NHS can do without a change in attitude in the UK, because the overall percentage of people consenting to donate their organs has not increased.”

Overall, just 57% of families agreed to donate the organs of deceased relatives when they were asked. Among black and other ethnic minority communities …

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