March 26, 2019
NHS strategy aims to tackle key barriers to paediatric and neonatal organ donation
Children in need of a transplant are waiting longer and dying before they can receive an organ because the number of young organ donors remains static.
NHS Blood and Transplant's (NHSBT) first paediatric and neonatal organ donation strategy aims to make more lifesaving transplants possible, especially for young patients who often need organs matched to their size.
The new strategy identifies eight areas of focus to increase organ donation among under 18s, including a series of recommendations for each area. The recommendations include increased support for families throughout the donation process, more dedicated training and support for clinical staff caring for paediatric patients, the development of new screening and assessment processes and continued work with coroners/ procurators fiscal to enable more donations to proceed.
At the plan's heart is the ethos that every family facing the death of a child should have the opportunity to explore organ and tissue donation. The strategy aims to embed organ donation, when possible, as a routine end-of-life choice.
UK Paediatric and Neonatal Deceased Donation: A Strategic Plan, which is a collaboration between NHSBT, paediatric and neonatal professionals, retrieval and transplant professionals, donor families and other partners, is available here.