19 October 2010
NHSBT response to Professor Sir Gordon Duff’s independent
review of the NHS Organ Donor Register
NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) welcomes Professor Sir Gordon Duff’s independent review into mis-recording of data on the Organ Donor Register (ODR), and his finding that the issue was handled with the appropriate level of urgency, diligence and sensitivity.
We worked closely with the review team to provide detailed information on how some registrants’ preferences for organ donation were wrongly recorded on the ODR and the actions we took to redress the situation. We are pleased that the information provided has led Professor Sir Gordon to conclude that appropriate action was taken and that our handling of the error, and contact with those affected by it, demonstrated our commitment to openness and transparency.
NHSBT sincerely regrets that the error was not uncovered earlier and that the donations of 25 individuals were affected by it. We would like to take this opportunity to reiterate our unreserved apologies to the families of those people.
After discovering the error, the NHSBT Board carried out its own investigations resulting in a detailed remedial action plan, which included steps to correct automatically a large number of the affected ODR records and to improve the robustness of the ODR and the mechanisms through which people can register. We are progressing well with this action plan.
We accept in full the recommendations of Professor Sir Gordon Duff, which will contribute significantly to strengthening the ODR and public confidence in it as a way to record organ donation wishes. Since the error related to the way in which we received data from one of our partners, our immediate focus has been to take forward those actions that relate to our working arrangements with partner organisations.
Professor Sir Gordon acknowledges in his review that the existing ODR infrastructure was not originally designed for the purposes that it is currently used. Whilst our remedial action plan and a number of Professor Sir Gordon’s recommendations will ensure that the Register is robust and reliable in the short to medium term, we will take forward as a matter of urgency the scoping and design of a new ODR, as recommended. Our long-term aim is to operate the ODR as an interactive database that will allow registrants to check and amend their own records. It would also be consistently used by authorised health professionals to check the donation preferences of any potential organ donors, allowing the Register to help save the lives of the three people who die every day in the UK due to the shortage of organs for transplantation.
For a copy of the full report by Professor Sir Gordon Duff, please
For further information, please contact the NHSBT press office on 0117 969 2444, at email@example.com or out of hours on 07659 133583.
Notes to Editors
- NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) is a Special Health Authority in the NHS. It is the organ donor organisation for the UK and is responsible for matching and allocating donated organs. Its remit also includes the provision of a reliable, efficient supply of blood and associated services to the NHS in England and North Wales
- To join the NHS Organ Donor Register call the Donor Line on 0300 123 23 23, go to www.organdonation.nhs.uk