Colin Beattie, the MSP for Midlothian North and Musselburgh, has called for constituents to sign up to the Organ Donor Register following a huge increase in the number of people receiving a life-saving transplant in Scotland.
This increase has been attributed to a coordinated nationwide effort over the last six years. New statistics show that 341 organ transplants were carried out from deceased organ donors in 2013/14; an increase of around 62 per cent since 2007/8. Similarly in this period, there has been a 96 per cent increase in the number of people in Scotland who have donated their organs after death.
In 2013-14, in hospitals across Scotland, 106 individuals and their families made the selfless decision to donate and, in doing so, transformed the lives of people on transplant waiting lists across the country. March 2014, 2,110,881 people living in Scotland had made their organ donation wishes known by As of 31st joining the UK Organ Donor Register. This represents 40 per cent of the Scottish population and compares well against the UK average of 32 per cent.
Last year the Scottish Government published A Donation and Transplantation Plan for Scotland 2013-2020 which sets out the ways in which it hopes to improve donation and transplantation in Scotland. The plan builds on the very good progress made under the auspices of the Organ Donation Taskforce between 2008 and 2013.
Colin Beattie said: “Firstly I offer my sincere gratitude to every donor and their family in Scotland who, in the face of tragic and challenging circumstances, have demonstrated such kindness and generosity. We must respect people’s organ donation wishes; after all, these figures amply demonstrate that every donation counts.
“The past few years have seen important strides being made in Scotland in raising the issue of organ donation. I applaud the staff of the NHS in ensuring that the wishes of organ donors are respected, thus helping to change the lives of people who require life-saving transplants.
“However, we must remember that there are still around 600 people in Scotland awaiting an organ. Therefore I encourage everyone to sign up to the NHS Organ Donor Register and make their organ donation wishes known to their loved ones.”
By 2020 the Scottish Government aims to increase deceased donation rates to 26 per million of population. This figure currently stands at 20 per million of population, up from 17.9 in 2012/13.