The latest figures from the NHS Blood and Transplant published today show the consent rate for organ donation in Wales have increased by 7% from last year.

First published:
18 July 2019
Last updated:

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Wales has the highest consent rate of all the UK nations, now 77%, up from 58% in 2015, when the new a soft opt-out system of consent to organ donation was introduced.

Health Secretary Vaughan Gething said:

“Every organ donation is potentially life-saving gift. I am very pleased to see the consent rate continues to rise in Wales. It shows the introduction of the pioneering opt-out system is having a real effect and it is great to see England and Scotland now following our lead.

None of this would have been possible without the generosity of donors and their families, who give their support. As well as the dedication of all the clinical staff involved, that we are now leading the way.

Communicating your organ donation decision to family and loved ones is crucial to ensuring we get more donors. If you know you want to be an organ donor, then simply tell your loved ones. Your family will be involved in any discussions about organ donation if you are in a position to donate your organs when you die.”

On 1 December 2015, Wales became the first country in the UK to move to a soft opt-out system of consent to organ donation. This means that if a person has not registered a decision to become an organ donor (opted in) or a decision not to become an organ donor (opted out), they will be considered as having no objection to being an organ donor – this is known as deemed consent. 

The figures from the NHS Blood and Transplant annual Organ Donation and Transplantation Activity Report for 2018/19 show that in Wales:

  • 40% of the population have signed up to the opt-in register and 5.9% of the population signed up to the opt-out register.
  • There were 96 deceased donors and 44 living donors from welsh residents. That was an 18% increase in the number of deceased donors donating compared to last year (87).
  • There were 171 transplants from deceased donors to welsh residents.
  • There were 222 people waiting on the Active Transplant Waiting List and 24 patients died while on the active list.
  • 15 families overruled organ donation, 4 overruled their loved ones opt in decision and 11 families did not support deemed consent.

You can register an organ donation decision at any time at any age by calling 0300 123 23 23 or visiting https://gov.wales/organ-donation/register-your-decision or by telling your family and friends.

Ahead of the Westfield Health British Transplant Games, which are coming to Newport on 25 – 28 July, the Welsh Government organ donation team will visit:

Thursday 18th July - Lido Ponty – Pontypridd – CF37 4PE 
Friday 19th July - University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff – CF14 4XW 
Saturday 20th July – Sunday 28th July - Friar’s Walk – Newport - NP20 1EA

The tour will finish at Friar’s Walk, Newport on Friday 19 July where the team will officially open the Organ Donation Wales hub, which will be open to the public all week with educational games, exhibitions and stories of recipients and donors.