Hospital trust among UK's top performers for organ donation

The lives of more than 100 people were saved or improved as a result of organ donation at University Hospital Southampton (UHS) over the past year.

Figures released today (15 July) by NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) show 33 patients donated organs with the support of their families and clinicians, with 24 out of the 33 being multi-organ donors.

This makes UHS the third highest performing centre in the UK despite the challenges of managing the Covid-19 pandemic.

The data follows the publication of NHSBT’s annual Transplant Activity Report which reveals a steady increase in support for organ donation around the country.

The report shows 69% of families gave their consent when asked about organ donation, however, total organ donation decreased due to the impact of the pandemic on services.

Despite this, 1,180 people in the UK donated their organs after they died, saving or improving the lives of 3,391 transplant recipients and giving hope to the thousands of patients still waiting.

Rachel Clare and David Thomson: specialist nurses - organ donation“Thanks to the unwavering support of the staff here at UHS and, above all, the generosity of patients and their families, last year 33 patients were able to give the gift of organ donation at the end of their life,” said Rachel Clare, specialist nurse – organ donation at University Hospital Southampton.

“UHS is proud to have the third highest number of donations in the whole of the UK during 2020/21 and we are so grateful to all those who have made the decision to give the gift of life to others.”

The law around organ donation in England changed to an opt out system in May last year and it is hoped public support for organ donation will continue to build.

Adults covered by the new law change still have a choice about whether or not they want to donate and families are still involved in discussions before organ donation goes ahead.

David Thomson, specialist nurse – organ donation at University Hospital Southampton, said: “Please tell your family that you want to support donation.

“Letting your family know that you want to save lives will make it much easier if there comes a time when organ donation is a possibility.”

John Forsythe, medical director of organ and tissue donation and transplantation at NHSBT, said: “This past year has been completely unprecedented in the history of the NHS, as well as in our wider society.

“So the fact that we managed to maintain three quarters of our normal donation and transplantation activity across the UK is absolutely phenomenal.

“There’s no escaping the fact that organ donation and transplantation will take some time to recover completely, as will the rest of the NHS.

“But each one of us in the wider clinical team of donation and transplantation across the UK are immensely proud of the work to keep organ donation and transplants happening in the most challenging circumstances.”

Find out more and register your decision by visiting NHS Organ Donor Register at and share your decision with your family.

Posted on Thursday 15 July 2021