Results from the impact of the Human Transplantation Act (Wales) 2013 on donor family attitudes, actions, decisions and experiences researched by Bangor University and presented at Organ Donation Conference on Friday 1 of December in Cardiff.
There were 205 approaches to relatives of potential organ donor patients between 01.012.15-31.05.17 (18 months) in Wales. 182/211 deceased patients came under the auspices of the Act.
Sixty-two in-depth interviews with 78 family members of 58 patients who were potential/actual organ donors, and 2 focus groups or individual interviews with 23 NHS BT professionals were also carried out.
Some of the key findings following initial implementation of the Act bringing in deemed consent:
· The good news is that overall consent rates for cases that come under the new soft opt out system was 64% over the first 18 months.
· Overall consent rates (including family consent which falls outside of the Act) have increased from 48.5% in 2014/15 to 61% (01.12.15-31.05.17) in Wales.
· People registering on the Organ Donor Register increased from 34%-38% between 31.03.15 – 31.03.17 in Wales.
· As of June 2017, 1,181,709 people in Wales had opted in, and 176,011 opted out of organ donation, which is 6% of the population and less than the Government and Kidney Wales anticipated.
· Some family members found the Act to be a helpful framework to honour their relative’s organ donation decision made in life.
· Some family members continued to believe that it was their decision and overrode the donation decision made by their relative in life.
· The media campaign in Wales worked to encourage people to talk about their organ donation decision. There were more registered and expressed opt in decisions (102/205) than deemed consent cases (46/205).
This mirrors other countries such as Belgium who brought in the law in the mid 80’s.
The study was led by Bangor University and funded by Health and Care Research Wales. Partners included NHS Blood and Transplant and Welsh Government.