NHS Scotland: 27% increase in kidney transplants including 10% increase from living donors as ‘UK’ level falls to eight-year low


(c) STV

Now and again BBC Scotland’s website reports good news without recourse to an opposition politician’s fib used as ‘balance’. Yesterday, they wrote:

‘Kidney transplants from dead donors have reached record levels in Scotland, according to figures from NHS Blood and Transplant. In 2017-18, 208 such transplants were carried out. This represented a 27% rise on the previous year’s figures. There was also an increase in the number of transplants from living donors, up from 86 to 95.’


That 10% increase in donation by living donors contrast sharply with the news for the ‘UK’:

‘Living kidney donation in UK at eight-year low, says NHS’


For context, the contrasting 2016/17 levels of registration, donation and transplant, across the UK, were as below:

With 45% of the Scottish population, 2.4 million people, are now on the NHS Organ Donor Register. The figure for England is only 35%. For Northern Ireland it is 39% and for Wales it is 37%.

In 2016/2017 there were 133 deceased organ donors in Scotland. This represented a 34% increase from 99 in 2015/2016. A total of 348 people benefitted from transplants. This was the highest level in the UK and was a record figure for Scotland. This increase has contributed to a fall in the number waiting for a transplant to the lowest level on record.

However, the marked difference in the percentages on the donor list does not seem to be seriously restricting the use of donated organs in England by contrast with Scotland. In 2016/2017, first three quarters, there were 157 deceased and living donors in Scotland whose organs were used while in England there were 1522 used. England’s population is ten times that of Scotland, so this suggests only a slightly lower tendency to use donated organs in England.

There does seem to be a shortage of organs in the UK, but I could only find UK-wide figures from http://www.organdonation.nhs.uk:

‘Last year, 466 patients died in need of an organ and a further 881 were removed from the transplant waiting list. Many of them would have died shortly afterwards.’








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