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Wales became the first part of the UK to change the organ donation system when it introduced a soft opt-out system in 2015.

First published:
14 October 2016
Last updated:

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Today’s annual report shows:

  • 31 deceased people donated their organs between 1 December 2015 and 31 May 2016, donating a total of 60 organs. 10 were patients for which consent was deemed because they had not registered a decision to either opt in or out - they donated over half the organs, 32 in total. In the same period in 2014-15, 23 people donated their organs.
  • A reduction in the number of people waiting for transplant from 309 in 2010-11 to 193 in 2015-16 – a 38 per cent reduction.
  • A 50 per cent rise in the number of patients residing in Wales receiving liver transplants compared with last year.
  • A 19 per cent rise in the number of patients residing in Wales receiving kidney transplants compared with last year.
  • A 63 per cent rise in the number of patients residing in Wales receiving cardiothoracic transplants compared with last year.

Wales became the first part of the UK to change the organ donation system when it introduced a soft opt-out system in 2015. People aged 18 and over who have lived in Wales for more than 12 months and who die in Wales will now be regarded as having consented to organ donation unless they have opted out. This is called deemed consent.

People who want to be an organ donor can register a decision to opt in or do nothing, which will mean they have no objection to being an organ donor. Those people who do not want to be organ donor can opt out at any time. 

Health Secretary Vaughan Gething said:

“I was extremely proud when we used our new law making powers to change legislation around organ donation. The result o our assertive action is starting to show and there’s a lot to be proud of in today’s annual report.  

“We’ve seen improvements in the number of donated organs and 36 per cent of the population of Wales, 1,113,090 people, are now on the Organ Donor Register. We are moving in the right direction, but while there are still people dying waiting for potentially life saving transplants we must do more.

“We’ve made a concerted effort to raise awareness of the changes to organ donation law and the rapid increase in the numbers who now know about the changes is testament to that work. From today’s report we know that 76 per cent of the public in Wales are aware of the changes to the organ donation system here in Wales but it’s really important we continue to reach the Welsh public on this issue.

“I want to encourage everyone across Wales to talk with their loved ones about their organ donation wishes so we can see a rise in the number of people whose lives can be saved or improved by an organ transplant.”

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