Latest figures announced by NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT), show that the last year (from April 2017 to March 2018) was a record year for organ donors in the UK.

For the first year ever more than 1500 people donated their organs after they died, with 162 more deceased donors than the previous year and the highest year on year increase in 28 years.

In Wales, 74 deceased organ donors were provided from Welsh hospitals during 2017/18, the highest ever number of donors in Wales.

Professor Roy J. Thomas CEO of Kidney Wales said “We are grateful to all the donors for it is they that break these records. Each donor is an individual demonstrating the value we place on human life. If we are to prevent the three people a day who die waiting for a transplant in the UK to live –we need more of the selfless human consciousness we see demonstrated in these figures to continue to donate and not be prevented from doing so by systems, laws, or families that override wishes of those wishing to donate.”

“We will continue to campaign for the change in law in England which affects selection and allocation of organs-in both England and Wales – the recent government consultation on changing consent to an opt out regime –provides a profile for organ donation- as it is on the front page of the news. This not a coincidence as we saw this in Wales when we consulted between 2010-13.”

He added “But living kidney donation in the UK , which is equally important and represents about one third of all kidney transplants is in decline, we know there is still much more to be done on this and more resources are needed.”

The Welsh Health Secretary, Vaughan Gething welcomed the news, saying: “The organ donation figures are definitely moving in right direction but we do need to have several more years’ data to draw firmer conclusions around the impact of the change in the law in Wales. Every donor is incredibly precious; with approximately 300 people dying in circumstances where organ donation is possible we need everyone to say yes and for families to be ready to support this decision.”

“We must not forget that behind every number is a person and a grieving family. My thanks go out to all those who choose to give the gift of life, and the family who support their decision. Without their generosity, others would not get their transformative transplant.”

“We already know that consent data shows an increase in the percentage of families supporting donation and this is now being reflected in the rise in organ donors.”

“Numbers in Wales are small which has caused fluctuations in performance in previous years. Despite the progress that is being made, there are still more people waiting for a life saving or life changing organ donation. I urge everyone to consider what their organ donation decisions are and to confirm that on the organ donor register and tell their family of their decision, asking them to honour it.”

You can register a decision at any time by calling 0300 123 23 23 (Calls to this phone line will be answered by NHS Blood and Transplant), by visiting Organ Donation Wales website or by telling your family (and friends).