Local People Encouraged to Make Their Decision Known During Organ Donation Week
Over half of people in Forth Valley have recorded their organ and tissue donation decision.
New figures released to coincide with Organ and Tissue Donation Week (20-26 September 2021) reveal over half (52.3%) of people in the NHS Forth Valley area have now registered their donation decision.
As the Week marks the six-month anniversary of Scotland’s move to an opt out system of organ and tissue donation, figures show 49.4%of people in Forth Valley have recorded a decision to be a donor, with 2.9 % choosing to opt out.
The opt out system was introduced on 26 March 2021 to save and improve lives, meaning that if people aged 16 and over haven’t opted out of donation, they will be considered a possible donor if they die in circumstances in which they could donate.
Under the opt out system everyone has a choice – to be a donor or opt out of donation – but it’s important to make that decision known. If people choose to do nothing, it will be assumed they have agreed to donate certain organs and tissue for transplantation, unless they’re in a group for whom the law doesn’t apply.
In Scotland, there are an average of around 500 people waiting on an organ transplant, however only around one per cent of people die in a way that makes organ donation possible.
Dr Helen Tyler, NHS Forth Valley Consultant in Anaesthetics & Intensive Care Medicine and Clinical Lead for Organ Donation, said: “It’s encouraging to see the number of people in the area who have recorded their donation decision. Organ and tissue donation remains a personal choice, but it’s important to make your decision known.
“You can record your decision at any time on the NHS Organ Donor Register. Sharing that decision with family is also important, as having that knowledge can make it easier for them to honour it.”
Minister for Public Health, Maree Todd, said: “Over half the population of Scotland has now recorded their donation decision, the highest percentage per head of population in the UK. This Organ and Tissue Donation Week, I’d like to thank those who took time to make their decision known this year, following Scotland’s move to an opt out system.
“We have made tremendous progress in increasing donation and transplantation rates in Scotland over the last decade, with the move to opt out part of a package of measures to reduce the number of people in Scotland waiting for a transplant at any one time.
“We are committed to continuing to raise awareness of the choices people have under the opt out system and the importance of making their donation decision known. The simplest way to do this is to record your decision on the NHS Organ Donor Register and share it with those close to you.”
For more about the law change, and to record your donation decision, visit organdonationscotland.org or call 0300 123 23 23.