New data shows for the first time in Wales a significant increase in organ donation consent rates following brain stem death (DBD) – an increase to 88.2% as opposed to England which is 73.3%. The donation consent rate following circulatory death (DCD) has also improved to 68% in Wales compared to England 59.8%.
Wales now has the highest combined DBD and DCD consent rate in the UK at 80.5%, with England at 66.2%, Scotland 63.6% and Northern Ireland 66.7%.
December 2015 saw Wales become the first country in the UK move to a soft opt-out system of consent for organ donation. Known as ‘deemed consent’, a person who had not registered to ‘opt-in’ or ‘opt-out’ of organ donation would be considered as having no objection to being an organ donor.
Ogmore Assembly Member Huw Irranca-Davies who is also the Welsh Government Minister for Children, Older People and Social Care said: “The deemed consent legislation is clearly having an impact and these encouraging figures would not have happened without the support of people across Wales. Every organ donated carries the gift of life for others who are desperate for help and it’s wonderful to see Wales leading the way.
Awareness and understanding is increasing but it’s important we continue to keep the momentum going and I urge everyone to take a moment and have a conversation with their loved ones about organ donation. Never having discussed organ donation could make an already difficult time more stressful for families”.