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.
As of 31st March 2014, 2,110,881 people living in Scotland had made their organ donation wishes known by 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.
Public Health Minister Michael Matheson said: “First and foremost I want to offer my thanks to every donor and every donor’s family in Scotland who have demonstrated such kindness and benevolence in the face of tragic and difficult circumstances. It is our responsibility to ensure that people’s organ donation wishes are respected and to ensure that we make every donation count.
“Over the last few years we have made important strides in raising awareness of the importance of organ donation in Scotland and have been encouraging more and more people to make their wishes known. The staff working in the NHS do a fantastic job of ensuring that those wishes are respected and as a result more and more people are able to get the life-changing transplant they require.
"It’s important to remember however that around 600 people in Scotland are still waiting for an organ and we must be doing all we can to give them hope. I’d like to take this opportunity to encourage everyone to make their organ donation wishes known to their loved ones and to join the NHS Organ Donor Register.”
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.