Organs (deceased) donation
What is deceased organ donation?
Deceased organ donation is where a person assents to their organs being donated to another person in the event of their death. Organ transplants save lives and significantly improve the quality of a life.
Organs that can be donated include kidneys, liver, heart, lungs, small bowel and pancreas. Tissues that can be donated include the cornea (the transparent layer at the front of the eye), bone, skin, heart valves, tendons and cartilage.
Organ donation in England has changed to an opt out system.
It’s still for you to decide whether or not you want to become an organ donor.
The NHS Organ Transplant Team will always ask your family to support your decision. So whatever you choose, it’s really important that you let them know.
How does the opt out system work?
The opt out system works on the understanding that all adults agree to become organ donors when they die, unless they have made it known that they do not wish to donate.
Interested in finding out a bit more?
If you’d like to request more information, enter your details below. A member of our team will be in touch.
Register Online: organdonation.nhs.uk/register-to-donate/register-your-details
By phone: +44 (0) 300 123 23 23. Please QUOTE ACLT Code “ODT 2209” when confirming your organ donation wishes by phone.
Please remember to discuss your decision with your family so they’re aware.
What happens after you die
In the event of your death, your organs, blood type, and tissue type will be evaluated. The health and types will be compared to those of the recipient. The more they match, the greater the chance of a successful transplant outcome. So, if the match is strong enough, and with the consent of your next of kin, a surgical team will transplant the organs for which you have given permission.
There’s a particular need for more people of African, Caribbean, and South Asian ethnicities to donate their organs in the event of their death. People from the same ethnic group are more likely to be a close match, and those with rare tissue types may only be able to accept an organ from someone of the same ethnic origin.
People from Black, Asian and ethnic minority communities are more likely to develop health conditions that can lead to kidney failure. Due to the shortage of matching donors on the register, the average BAME person will wait much longer than the average white patient. During this wait, there is no guarantee of their survival.
ACLT can provide more information and guidance on the process of joining the register. To request this, sign up using the form above.
Living organ donors
Organs can also be donated while the donor is alive. Kidney donation makes up the majority of living organ donation as a healthy person can lead a normal life with only one kidney.
Black patients in need of a kidney are at an even greater disadvantage than those in need of other organs. The number of living donors is dramatically decreasing every year: last year only 17 people came forward to donate their organ. This is becoming a terrifying issue – please read more about how you can help.
Not eligible to be a donor?