Call to increase organ donation

Press Eye - Belfast -  Thursday 11th July 2013 -

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Health Minister, Edwin Poots today launched a new strategy to achieve world class performance in organ donation – Taking Organ Transplantation to 2020 – a UK Strategy. 

The strategy, which was developed by NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) in conjunction with all four UK Health Administrations, also has the backing of the other UK Health Ministers. 

Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye. Health Minister Edwin Poots has backed a strategy to increase organ donation rates across the UK to 80 per cent over the next seven years. The UK’s current rate is 57 per cent. The ‘Taking Organ Transplantation to 2020’ strategy applies across the UK and is supported by health ministers at Westminster and in the devolved administrations.

The strategy also aims to increase the national deceased donor rate from 19 to 26 per million of the population, and increase the number of patients receiving a transplant from 49 to 74 per million of the population.

“This is a brave and ambitious strategy that will give more people a realistic chance of receiving a life-saving or life-enhancing transplant,” Poots stated. “Despite recent success, we know more can and must be done to address the shortage of donated organs across the UK.”

To achieve these goals, the strategy will encourage everyone in society to make organ donation a normal part of end-of-life care. A separate debate on an opt-out system for organ donation is likely to take place in the new Assembly session, following a private member’s Bill from UUP MLA Jo-Anne Dobson.

The Minister is considering his response to the Bill and, in the meantime, is encouraging potential donors to discuss their wishes with family and friends. Members of the public can join the organ donor register at ww.organdonation.nhs.uk or by calling 0300 123 23 23.

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