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.
The NHS Organ Donor Register is a confidential national database that holds the details of around 21 million people who want to donate their organs. When a patient needs one of these organs, the register is checked and a suitable organ is transplanted.
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.
Interested in becoming a donor?
If you’re interested and you’d like to request more information, enter your details below. A member of our team will be in touch.
How to join the NHS register
You’ll need to send your details to the NHS register. You can do this by phone or online. Please quote the ACLT code ODT 2209 when registering – this is important to enable ACLT to track the number of new registrants which have come via our work and campaigns.
By phone: +44 (0) 300 123 23 23
Please remember to discuss your decision with your family so they’re aware.
What happens after you join the register
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?