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NHS Survey: Organ Donation

9th Sep 2019

The message below is from Dr Simon Steel who is a Paediatric Intensive Care Consultant. He is attempting to develop a strategy to address some of the challenges in children and young people’s organ donation.

Dear Parents and Carers,

Attitudes in the UK are changing positively towards organ donation in the adult population but we have a long way to go in improving organ donation rates from children and young people, and in doing so help save the lives of thousands of people waiting for an organ transplant.

In the UK, consent rates for children's organ donation fall well below the national average for the adult population, with less than 50% of families agreeing to their child becoming an organ donor when approached at the end of their child’s life.

In 2017/18 when there were over 1500 organ donors, only 39 organ donors were aged 16 years or younger. This is having a huge negative impact upon children in the UK waiting for a life saving organ transplant where the wait for a new heart for example, means waiting 2-3 times longer than an adult.

Legislative changes for organ donation in the UK will most likely have the greatest impact on donation from adults but in March 2019, NHS Blood & Transplant launched it's first ever children's strategy to try and help bridge the gap between the successes seen in adult organ donation in comparison to children.

The attached survey is the first survey on this scale of it's kind, and will hopefully be supported by all the schools in Sheffield. The answers provided by the parents and guardians will help our understanding of the challenges towards children donating their organs at the end of their lives, and help us to identify possible changes that we can make to improve this situation.

Follow this link: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/D8FS36C

Thank you for your support and if you have any further questions about the parent/carer survey, please don't hesitate in contacting me.

Yours sincerely

Dr Simon Steel

Paediatric Intensive Care Consultant

Member of the Paediatric National Organ Donation Committee, NHS Blood & Transplant

Sheffield Children’s Hospital
Western Bank
Sheffield
S10 2TH