New figures out today reveal that there were 9 patients who donated their organs after death at Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (GHNHSFT) last year, helping save or improve the lives of 19 people desperately in need of a transplant in the UK.
NHS Blood and Transplant and Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust have released the figures to mark the publication of the annual Organ Donation and Transplantation Activity Report.(to be published at this link tomorrow).
In Gloucestershire, there are now 489,952 people on the Organ Donation Register out of a total county population of 640,650.
The annual report shows deceased organ donation in the UK increased by 18% last year thanks to the continuing recovery of organ donation and transplant activity following the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic. In total 1,397 people donated their organs after death last year, including 9 in Gloucestershire.
Despite this, the number of people being listed for a transplant has increased, due to most being suspended during the height of the pandemic and, subsequently, others needing a transplant being added to the list. There are currently 6,393 people on the active waiting list and a further 3,990 temporarily suspended.
Dr Mark Haslam, the Clinical Lead for Organ Donation in Gloucestershire, said: “We are humbled by the immense public support for organ donation in Gloucestershire and so grateful to the patients and their families who said yes, saving and improving the lives of others.
“To see UK figures improving back to pre-pandemic levels so quickly is a testament to the resilience and commitment of the whole team involved making organ donation possible and transplants happen.
“There remains a huge need for organ donors to help other patients, so it is important for all of us to register and let our families know our organ donation wishes. Ensuring our families know what we would want to happen when we die makes it much easier if there comes a time when organ donation is a possibility.
Anthony Clarkson, Director of Organ and Tissue Donation and Transplantation, at NHS Blood and Transplant, added:
“Organ donation and transplantation is a fundamental part of the NHS work to save lives. This is shown by the increase in the number of patients this year receiving transplants and the number of those who are continually registering their decision to be an organ donor.
“The fact that 1,397 people saved the lives of others last year through deceased organ donation is wonderful, especially given the fact that the number of families agreeing to donation when they were approached last year than fell by 3% on the year before. We still need families to support their loved one’s decision and agree to donation when approached if they know that’s what they wanted.
“We need to work to improve consent/authorisation rates by encouraging people to register their decision and discuss it with their families as organ donation really does save lives.”