NHS opt-in transplant policy at risk due to cuts and staff stress

Full story in The Guardian, 15 July 2018.

Plans to save hundreds of lives by making everyone in England a potential organ donor could fail because hospitals are so short of transplant surgeons and specialist nurses, the NHS’s own analysis of the policy has revealed.

Lives could be lost because teams of organ retrieval specialists are already under “extreme stress” and understaffed transplant centres are struggling to keep up with existing demand, according to NHS Blood and Transplant’s (NHSBT) impact assessment of switching to a system of presumed consent.

Theresa May has thrown her weight behind ambitious plans to help the 6,000 seriously ill Britons who are awaiting an organ transplant by making organ donation at death something the 55 million people in England have to opt out of rather than choose to do, which is the current system.