UK Passport Applicants To Be Asked to Sign up to NHS Organ Donor Register

UK Passport Applicants To Be Asked to Sign up to NHS Organ Donor Register

The British government is introducing a significant change to passport applications, making it easier for people to register as organ donors when renewing their passports. 

Starting next year, applicants will have the option to sign up for the NHS Organ Donor Register.

The NHS Blood and Transplant and the Department of Health and Social Care launched a partnership with the Home Office.  Under plans designed to boost organ donation, a new link will appear in the passport application process to enable adults applying to renew their ID to sign up to the NHS Organ Donor Register.

Currently, over 7,000 people are waiting for a life-saving transplant, the highest number in almost a decade.

Clinicians have warned that opportunities for lifesaving transplants are being missed, with 1,130 families declining to donate their loved one's organs last year.

Data from NHS Blood and Transplant reveal that organ donation is most likely to proceed when the deceased individual has previously consented through the NHS register. In such cases, nine out of 10 families support the decision.

“Every organ donor can save and improve up to nine lives which is why we're working hard to grow the NHS Organ Donor Register.

“As our next step to drive up life-saving registrations, we're going to be providing adults with the option to sign up to donate when they renew their passport. We hope to inspire more people to sign up.

“Nine out of 10 families would agree to donation if they knew what their loved ones wanted. The more people we can get to join the register, the more lives we can save.”

Health Minister Neil O'Brien

As it stands 30 million people have recorded their organ donation decision on the NHS Organ Donor Register, representing approximately 45% of the total population.

Many people register through the DVLA and the NHS app.

Home Office Minister, Lord Murray said the passport renewal service provides the opportunity to reach over 3.5 million adults every year.

He said the government will look at other digital routes to inspire people to make the decision.

“This is just the first step forward, and we will be looking further at how we can use the passport application system to raise more awareness of how to join the NHS Organ Donor Register in the future.”

Lord Murray

A passport renewal is something nearly every adult in the UK will do during their lifetime. Passport applications are therefore seen as one of the best ways to reach every adult and provide information about the benefits of organ donation.

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