Donation and transplantation plan for Scotland 2013-2020

Our national plan setting out key recommendations around organ and tissue donation and transplantation to improve Scotland's performance.

Five Priorities for Organ Donation and Transplantation in Scotland

2.1 The successful delivery of organ donation and transplantation is a complex and multi-faceted issue. Achieving high donation rates, successful transplants and good patient outcomes depends on the intricate machinery of the NHS operating responsively, quickly and effectively. When this machinery works imperfectly, opportunities for donation and transplantation can be lost.

2.2 Equally complex are the moral, ethical and legal issues which surround donation and transplantation. The widespread public and professional support for organ donation depends upon the active consideration of some of these difficult and sensitive issues. Everybody in Scotland - public or professional - should be able to access the information they need to take a considered view on these issues. Where an individual has decided that they wish to donate their organs after death then it is the responsibility the NHS in Scotland to do all that it can to fulfil such wishes. Where an individual does not wish to donate then it is imperative that these wishes are respected.

2.3 This plan cannot address all of these issues. In order to make progress it is important that we focus our energies on the most important weaknesses and target our resources at the service or infrastructure changes which will have the biggest benefit.

2.4 On this basis the Scottish Transplant Group was asked to identify priorities for action over the period to 2020. Based on their own considerations, and informed by the NHSBT UK Strategy, the STG has identified the following five high-level priorities for action in Scotland:

Priority 1: We should continue to increase the number of people in Scotland who have made their wishes about donation known;
Priority 2: We should increase the availability of organs for transplantation;
Priority 3: We should make sure that every donation counts;
Priority 4: We should ensure that all parts of NHSScotland are knowledgeable about and support donation and transplantation; and
Priority 5: We should ensure that the public in Scotland is informed and engaged about organ donation and transplantation.

2.5 The following chapters consider each of these priorities in turn and set out the key activities we will take forward over the next seven years to make progress. If we are successful we are confident that we will be able to replicate the experience of other parts of the world where donation rates have increased significantly as a result of a concerted effort by governments and health services.


Email: Pamela Niven

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