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Organs: Donors

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 11th June 2019.

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Photo of Julian Knight Julian Knight Conservative, Solihull

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to encourage organ donation.

Photo of Jackie Doyle-Price Jackie Doyle-Price The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Solihull on 9 April 2019 to Question 240020.

A number of steps are being taken, including the implementation of the UK-wide ‘Taking Organ Transplantation to 2020’ Strategy (2013); the introduction of the Organ Donation (Deemed Consent Act) 2019 from 2020 which will introduce a new system of consent for organ and tissue donation in England; a 12-month communication campaign, launched by NHS Blood and Transplant on 25 April 2019, to raise awareness of these changes and the options available under the new system; and, from 2020, teaching of the science relating to blood, organ and stem cell donation in all state-funded primary and secondary schools.

Shortages of organs for transplant are relevant to people from all backgrounds but are particularly acute for black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) patients, who are more likely to need an organ transplant. It is for this reason the Department launched a campaign in July 2018, delivered by NHS Blood and Transplant, with support from the National Black, Asian, Mixed Race and Minority Ethnic Transplant Alliance, to raise awareness and break down barriers to donation within these communities. A Community Investment Scheme was also launched and in January 2019, 25 projects were successful in sharing £140,000 in funding to break down myths and barriers and increase support for organ donation among BAME communities. Organisations representing Jain, Sikh, Hindu, Muslim, Swahili, black and Asian Christians, black African and Caribbean and multi-faith groups received funding for their projects.

A toolkit is available to help hon. Members engage locally which includes details of the resources available to support such engagement. This is available at the following link:

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