Increase in Scot’s organ donors

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A TOTAL of 285 Scots have received life-saving transplants in the last 12 months as latest figures show that Scotland has achieved a 74.1 per cent increase in organ donors.

The statistics, released on April 11 by NHS Blood and Transplant, also show a UK-wide increase of 50 per cent, a target set by the Organ Donation Taskforce in 2008, and met in Scotland a year early in 2012.

In 2012/13 there were a total of 94 donors in Scotland – up from 54 in 2007/8.

The number of people on the NHS Organ Donor Register in Scotland has also reached a record high of more than two million. This is 41.1 per cent of the population – the highest of any UK country.

Michael Matheson, Minister for Public Health said: “I am delighted that Scotland has delivered a 74 per cent increase in organ donation and I would like to thank the many NHS staff who have worked tirelessly to make this possible.

“We have also increased the number of transplants by 36 per cent, and have the highest proportion of any UK country’s population on the NHS Organ Donor Register.

“I am very aware that organ donation can only occur as a result of tragic circumstances, but I also know that many donor families gain comfort from the fact that their loved one went on to save several lives.

“Reaching this increase is a landmark achievement, however we must not forget the fact that around 600 Scots are still waiting for a transplant and we can and must do more to help them. We will continue to work with NHS Blood and Transplant and the other UK countries to build on our achievements and the excellent progress which has been made to date”.

Professor John Forsythe, Scotland’s lead clinician for crgan donation and transplantation, said: “This is a landmark achievement for Scotland and the UK as a whole.

“It is very important that we also pay tribute to all those organ and tissue donors, and their families, who have made the decision to help others. Without their generosity, none of the achievements announced would have been possible.”