Strengthening health systems

Three people die every day in the UK in need of an organ. A heart transplant is the only effective treatment available for people with severe heart failure, when the condition cannot be treated effectively with medication. Up to 200 heart transplants are carried out in the UK every year. But many more could benefit if more donations were available.

Changing to an 'opt out' system - England

Currently, there is an opt-in basis for consent for organ donation in England. We want to see a change in the law to an opt-out system, meaning that everyone would automatically be an organ donor unless they opt-out. We feel that this would better reflect public opinion as we know that 80% of people say they support organ donation, just 36% are on the NHS Organ Donor Register.

BHF believe that a change in law, alongside investment in the health system could help deliver an increase in organs; helping to shift social norms towards donation and away from refusal.

Our goals

The BHF wants to see an opt-out system accompanied by:

  • Investment to the organ donation infrastructure, capacity and training for health care professionals are also required to provide essential support for an opt-out system to be successful
  • A robust system ensuring that everyone who wishes to opt-out can do so and has the opportunity to amend this at any point
  • A wide-ranging communication strategy to raise awareness and encourage people to share their wishes with their families making organ donation an integral part of the fabric of our everyday lives.

Sign up to become an organ donor

For further information email us at [email protected].