McMillan welcomes Organ Donation rates

“This survey highlights that Scotland has the highest percentage of people in the UK who said they had registered to be an organ donor,” said Stuart McMillan MSP.

According to a survey by Populus on behalf of NHS Blood and Transplant, Scotland has the highest percentage of people of all the UK regions who said they had registered to be an organ donor.

In Scotland, 2.2 million people are on the NHS Organ Donor Register – 41% of the population. This compares to 33% of the population of the UK.

The survey also shows support for organ donation remains high in Scotland, with 58% of Scots saying they would want to donate their organs after death – 65% * living in Edinburgh and 54%* living in Glasgow.

Scotland also had the highest percentage of people surveyed (67%) who thought that it was important to be an organ donor because ‘it’s the right thing to do’.

Stuart McMillan added:

“We know that support for organ donation in Scotland is strong. We consistently have the highest percentage of people across the UK signed up to the Organ Donor Register and since 2008 we have seen an 82% increase in the number of people donating their organs after death.

“However, less than one per cent of deaths in Scotland occur in circumstances where the person is able to donate their organs, so the more people that register, the more likely someone will be able to get the life-changing transplant they are desperately waiting for.

“Doctors will always try to seek the permission of a family member or loved one, if a person is ever in a position where they could donate their organs. But the survey shows that some people don’t realise this. That is why it is so important that if you have joined the Organ Donor Register, you have the conversation and share your wishes with your friends and family.”

In Scotland, 67% of people surveyed said that it had been over a year since they had told a loved one about their decision to donate. 98% of people who had had the conversation said that they found it easy.

Professor John Forsythe, Lead Clinician for Organ Donation and Transplantation in Scotland and Clinical Director of the Transplant Unit at the RIE, said:

“We’re delighted to be supporting National Transplant Week.

“Signing up to the Organ Donor Register is easy and one donor has the potential to save or transform many lives.

“Letting your family and friends know you would like to be an organ donor is really important too, so we would encourage everyone to discuss their donation wishes with loved ones, and think about signing up to the Organ Donor Register to save lives.”

• National Transplant Week takes place from 7 – 13 September 2015. Further information on how the Scottish Government is supporting National Transplant Week is available on the Organ Donation Scotland website:
• *Please note: low base size under 100. On behalf of NHSBT, Populus interviewed a random sample of 2,072 UK adults aged 18+ by online survey between 5-6th August 2015. Surveys were conducted across the country and the results have been weighted to the profile of all adults. Populus is a founder member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules. Further information at
• The Transplant Unit at the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary undertakes well over 100 kidney transplants each year, plus almost the same number of liver transplants.
• In 1995 the Renal Transplant Unit joined with the Scottish Liver Transplant Unit, so that the efforts of the transplant surgeons, doctors, nurses and other staff could be combined. In 2000, the unit’s first combined kidney and pancreatic transplant was performed.


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