Organ Donation: Working together to saves lives

The Working together to saves lives: The Organ Donation Taskforce Implementation Programme’s Final Report, 2011 was published today.

This is the final report of the Taskforce’s Programme Delivery Board and records activity up to March 2011 in achieving the 14 recommendations in the 2008 report. This report also records progress made towards the Taskforce’s challenge to increase organ donation by at least 50% by 2013.

The Organ Donation Taskforce was established in December 2006 to identify barriers to organ donation and to recommend what action should be taken to increase the numbers of organ donation. The Taskforce made 14 recommendations in their first report Organs for Transplants published in January 2008.

The first year of implementation work focussed on engaging key people in the NHS, such as intensive care staff and NHS managers. Work was also undertaken to increase the number of staff dedicated to organ donation by appointing Clinical Leads for Organ Donation, establishing Donation Committees within acute trusts and strengthening the number of specialist nurses. This led to an initial increase of 10% in organ donation. Progress has been sustained, seeing an increase of 31% in the number of deceased donors against the 2008 baseline.

Work is now being taken forward by a Transitional Steering Group chaired by Chris Rudge.  The Steering group was established in March 2011 following the Programme Delivery Board’s last meeting in January 2011. The role of the Group is to maintain momentum to achieve the 50% target pending the introduction of the NHS Commissioning Board. During the transitional period, the Group will be encouraging action in six key areas:

  • increasing consent rates
  • Brain Stem Death testing in all appropriate cases
  • Donation after Circulatory Death to be considered in all circumstances
  • Increase donation from emergency medicine
  • Increased and more timely referral of potential donors
  • Improved donor management


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