LTB 269/19 – Organ Donation Law Change Update (NHSBT)

No. 269/2019

1 May 2019

Our Ref: C1/19

To: All Branches


Dear Colleagues,

Organ Donation Law Change Update (NHSBT)

Further to our series of previous LTBs and CWU Conference decision to support the promotion of Organ and Blood donation, this is to let Branches and Regions know and to remind you all once again that the law around organ donation in England is changing. It’s hoped by NHS Blood & Transplant (NHSBT) that the change will lead to more lives being saved through organ donation.

In short; From spring 2020, all adults in England will be considered to have agreed to be an organ donor when they die unless they had recorded a decision not to donate or are in one of the excluded groups.

NHSBT 12 month public information campaign

NHSBT have now launched a 12 month public information campaign to tell people that the law is changing and to explain that from spring 2020 everybody over 18 will be considered as a potential donor unless they ‘opt out’ or are in an excluded group. NHSBT will be encouraging people to choose whether they want to donate their organs when they die, to record their decision and share it with their family. If they decide they don’t want to donate, they will need to register their decision on the NHS Organ Donor Register.

What is organ and tissue donation?

Organ and tissue donation is giving your organs and/or tissues to help save or improve the lives of others when you die. One organ donor can save or transform the lives of up to nine people. Tissue transplants can also significantly improve a person’s quality of life. This might be a cornea to help someone see again, a replacement heart valve to treat a heart defect, or skin to treat severe burns.

Why is the law around organ donation changing?

Around three people die each day across the UK in need of an organ, because not enough organs are available for transplant. But only 1% of people die in circumstances that would allow them to donate.

Most people support organ donation in principle and would be willing to donate their organs after their death. However, many people do not make this decision clear either by signing on to the NHS Organ Donor Register or telling their family.

The change in law better reflects what most people want to happen and will help save and improve more lives.

Further information and campaign materials

You can obtain further information and download campaign materials via this link.

Also Visit:

NHSBT Animation Video link:


  • NHSBT Campaign Poster
  • NHSBT Fact Sheet

Yours sincerely


Dave Joyce
National Health, Safety & Environment Officer

19LTB269 Organ Donation Law Change Update (NHSBT)