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13 February 2012
Dr Paul Murphy, a consultant in intensive care and Clinical Lead for Organ Donation at NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT), said:
"We welcome this report which acknowledges the excellent progress made by NHSBT and our partners in increasing the numbers of deceased donor organs available for life-saving transplant.
"Any initiative that encourages people to think and talk about the importance of organ donation helps to change attitudes and ensures that donation is seen as a routine part of end of life care in the UK.
"In the last three years we have increased staffing and resources, changed working practices, and developed healthcare professionals so that they are appropriately supported and skilled to enable more donors to have their wishes fulfilled.
"We are optimistic that we will achieve the Taskforce's predicted 50% increase by 2013 but acknowledge that this will be tough and all parts of the donation process will need to work to their full potential for us to deliver this goal.
"We are working with the Department of Health's Transitional Steering Group. We will focus over the next year on removing the barriers that currently lead 43% of UK families to refuse organ donation because they don't know what their relatives' wishes were.
"We will also be seeking to enhance the rate of donation from Emergency Departments where the potential is significant but where, as yet, relatively small numbers of donors are being identified.
"As the UK Organ donor organisation we will be involved in implementing any new consent policy, so we will continue to work with the authorities over discussions around opt out schemes where these are under consideration."