On the agenda: Organ donation rises 50 per cent

The number of people who donated organs after their death has risen sharply since 2008, but too many families are overruling their loved one's wishes, the NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) service said last week.

On the agenda: NHS Donor Register
On the agenda: NHS Donor Register

In more detail 

The NHSBT claimed it has met the challenge it was set by the Organ Donation Taskforce in 2008 to bring about a 50 per cent increase in deceased organ donation. The number of deceased donors across the UK rose from 809 in 2007-08 to 1,212 in 2012-13, and the NHSBT claimed that more than 3,100 lives have been transformed by deceased donors in the past 12 months. However, the service’s national lead for organ donation, Dr Paul Murphy, said that too many families continued to say no, sometimes resulting in overturning a person’s commitment to donating after death. 

PR strategy

While the statistics were being verified, the NHSBT’s press team informed health correspondents and national media that the information was about to be released. The NHSBT’s team worked in conjunction with hospitals, stakeholders and the Department of Health’s regional press offices to ensure that people who had been given a transplant and clinicians were available for interviews. 

Media coverage

The story was covered on the BBC, Channel 4 News and Sky, as well as regional broadcast media, while significant pieces ran in The Independent, The Times and The Guardian. It was also covered in regional and trade press. 

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