To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what steps he is taking to increase awareness of organ donation.
We are supporting a number of initiatives to raise awareness and to encourage more people to consent to organ donation.
NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) launched a new United Kingdom–wide organ donation and transplantation strategy in July 2013. Taking Organ Transplantation to 2020 was developed by NHSBT and the four UK Health Departments. The strategy sets the agenda for increasing organ donation and transplantation rates to world class standards over the next few years. An aim to change behaviour and attitudes towards organ donation is a feature of this strategy.
In 2014 NHSBT ran a successful campaign during National Transplant week entitled ‘Spell it out’. This encouraged people to tell their friends and family once they have signed up to the NHS Organ Donation Register (ODR). Last year’s campaign achieved higher levels of social media engagement than ever before, and media coverage reached 82% of adults. This year National Transplant Week takes place on 7 – 13 September.
The Department also supports a number of initiatives to raise awareness in Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities to become donors. Less than 5% of deceased organ donors are BAME, yet patients from BAME communities represent around a quarter of people waiting for a transplant.
NHSBT also works collaboratively with a number of partners in the private, public and third sectors to promote organ donation, such as Boots Advantage Card. People can also add their name to the ODR via Government owned channels such as applying for a driving licence and paying car tax online.