Organ donor numbers show rise in 2014-15

image copyrightWelsh government
image captionThe Welsh government has run a campaign letting people know of the coming changes to organ donation

The number of people donating their organs in Wales has increased, figures released five months before a new presumed consent scheme begins show.

However, the NHS Blood and Transplant report showed a rise in the number waiting for an organ transplant.

The figures from 2014 also showed the overall consent rate had fallen.

Health Minister Mark Drakeford said 12 people in Wales died last year waiting for donations, adding the donation rate needed to increase.

Donation statistics from 2014-15 showed:

  • there were 73 deceased organ donors, compared to 60 the previous year
  • the number of transplants fell from 209 in 2013-14 to 173
  • the overall consent rate was 48.5% compared to 53.6% the previous year
  • there were 220 patients waiting for a transplant at the end of March 2015, a slight rise, with 141 temporarily suspended from transplant lists

However, the report noted the numbers involved in donation in Wales were small, so modest fluctuations appeared to show considerable changes compared to previous years.

Factors such as the referral of potential donors and families being approached about donation played a part, it said.

Mr Drakeford said nine of out 10 people in Wales supported organ donation, but only three in 10 had signed up to the organ donation register.

He added: "In the last year, 12 people in Wales died while waiting for a transplant. I want to encourage everyone in Wales to talk about organ donation so we can ensure that fewer people die while waiting for an organ.

"I want to encourage a culture change in Wales, so that talking about organ donation is normal and that families discuss donation and are confident they know their loved ones' wishes."

The assembly voted to bring in a system of presumed consent two years ago, where the assumption will be that people are willing to donate unless they actively opt out of the process.

The Act will become law in December.

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