Back in 2013, Wales was facing an unprecedented shortage of organs, with donation
consent rates significantly lower than the rest of the UK. The Human Transplantation Act
2013 was designed to tackle this issue, with the new law, which was passed in 2015,
implementing a 'soft opt-out' or 'deemed consent' system. This meant that if people did not
actively opt-in or opt-out, they were automatically consenting to donating their organs.
By 2017, consent rates were up to 64% and awareness of the legislation was at 76% . Yet
there was a further challenge to address. At crucial moments, families were overriding
individual's decisions to donate organs, often because they were overwhelmed by emotion.
Despite the law being on their side, medical professionals found it difficult to force donation
under these heart-breaking circumstances. The campaign drew attention to this issue and
encouraged conversations between loved ones about donation decisions.
For the 2020-2021 campaign, the aim is to build on the work to date but take things a step
forward by asking people to prioritise immediate conversations and even actively register
their decision. This would prevent confusion around donation wishes. This was done by
emphasising the power of now – the importance of being clear about personal decisions,
whether by having a conversation with loved ones or actively opting-into organ registration.
Creativity played with the idea of family 'guessing games', illustrating the futility of
leaving organ donation decisions down to guess work for families. TV advertising depicted
families and friends playing charades or Pictionary with the clue giver desperately trying to
communicate their donation wishes to confused guessers. Digital games were circulated on
social media. Results showed that 90% of people in Wales are aware of the legislation and
58% of people have had the conversation.
We Are The NHS, Then Now Always by MullenLowe Group UK and freuds for NHS
Launch of NHS Covid-19 App by MullenLowe Group UK and MG OMD for HM