Cambridgeshire patients waiting for an organ transplant boosted as new law comes into force
PUBLISHED: 11:44 28 February 2020 | UPDATED: 11:44 28 February 2020
The Government has announced that all adults in England will be automatically enrolled as organ donors, with over 396,000 people in Cambridgeshire already on the list, figures revealed.
Since January, 396,665 residents across the county are on the organ donor register.
The new law will boost the chances of those waiting to receive a transplant; as of December last year, 58 people across Cambridgeshire were on the active transplant list.
In Cambridgeshire, the most common organ transplant is the kidney, with over 3,500 transplants taking place at Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge, one of the largest transplant centres in the UK.
On Tuesday (February 25), it was confirmed that the Organ Donation (Deemed Consent) Act, known as Max and Keira's Law, will come into effect on May 20 to help increase the number of transplants on the NHS.
Max Johnson, the 12-year-old heart recipient who championed this law change, and in return saw the law named after him and his young donor, Keira Ball, said: "I am very excited that we now know when the law change in England will actually happen. I just hope that this law change can help save more lives."
From May, adults in England will be considered as having agreed to donate their own organs when they die, unless they choose to 'opt out' or are in one of the excluded groups.
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Anthony Clarkson, director of organ donation and transplantation for NHS Blood and Transplant, said: "We hope that the new law encourages more people to record their donation decision and talk about organ donation with their families.
"It is important for people to know that they can do this at any time before or after the law comes into effect.
"Organ donation always will be a precious gift and if more people are inspired to support and agree to donation, many more lives can be saved."
Over 6,000 people in the UK are currently on the transplant waiting list, nearly 5,000 of those for a kidney transplant.
The opt-out method came into force when nine-year-old Keira saved four lives, including Max, after her father allowed doctors to use her organs for transplants following a car crash in 2017.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: "I'm incredibly proud of the action we are taking with this new law. This is an important step forward in making organ donation easier and more available to those who need it and could help save hundreds of lives every year."
For more information, or to register your decision to opt in or opt out, visit https://www.organdonation.nhs.uk or call 0300 303 2094.