WALES NEEDS TO SEIZE THE CHANCE TO LEAD ON ORGAN DONATION

Kidney Wales Foundation has responded to the publication of the publication of the first annual report of the Organ Donation Taskforce Implementation Programme with a call for Wales to lead the way with a new approach to organ donation.

Alison Goldsworthy, Kidney Wales Foundation Director of Communications said "Sadly one person dies every eleven days in Wales waiting for a transplant. Over 500 are waiting for an organ transplant in Wales over 440 waiting for a kidney."

Speaking on BBC Radio Wales Good Morning Wales programme Roy J. Thomas the Executive Chairman of Kidney Wales Foundation and Donate Wales said

"In England, they are making great efforts to transform the way the NHS approaches organ donation and transplantation. Here in Wales, we can take the lead on organ donation. This is our opportunity to move to an opt-out organ donation system, dramatically increasing the number of organs available to people. Combing this with speedier implementation of the Organ Donation Task force recommendations will save more lives. We will be putting these points to the Health Minister, Edwina Hart AM today."

The Kidney Wales foundation favours the Opt Out system set in countries like Belgium, Spain and Austria. Alison Goldsworthy said "Wales and the UK lag well behind the organ donation rates of other EU Member states. This has to stop-its time to move to an opt-out system of Organ Donation."

Notes to editors
1.The Kidney Wales Foundation is one of Wales’ oldest and biggest charities. In the 1970s it launched the Kidney Donor Card and a decade established Lifeline Wales-the precursor to today’s Organ Donor Register.
2.An opt out organ donation system is where it is assumed that an individual wishes to be a donor unless he or she has ‘opted out’ by registering their objection to donation after their death. Kidney Wales Foundation favour a soft opt out organ donation system where there is presumed consent, but next of kin also need to give consent.
3.When Belgium introduced the opt out system in 1986 its national rate rose by 55% within five years-it has taken us 15 years to get 27% of the people of Wales on the register and the same is true of the UK as a whole.
4.The report today of the Organ Donor Taskforce details the progress made in the first year of the Organ Donation Taskforce Implementation Programme, set up by the Government to increase organ donation by more than 50% by 2013 with the aim of enabling the NHS to carry out more than 1,400 extra transplants every year. The Programme aims to do this by implementing the 14 recommendations of made by the Organ Donation Taskforce in January 2008. The report shows the following progress has been made since the implementation team began its work in June 2008.
5.Kidney Wales lead the Donate Wales Campaign- see www.donatewales.com