Organ Donation

Currently, over 7,000 people in the U.K. require an organ transplant and and approximately160 patients in N Ireland. The need for transplanted organs continues to outstrip the supply and some patients wait for years before a suitable organ becomes available.  Every day three people die in the U.K. awaiting a life-saving organ transplant while one patient dies every month in N. Ireland. 

These deaths are avoidable

In The Western Health and Social Care Trust Organ Donation Specialist Nurses, Maria Coyle and Martina Conlon and Lead Clinician for Organ Donation, Dr Declan Grace have been working to increase awareness of the importance of organ donation. We want to ensure that organ and tissue donation is considered as a matter of routine practice as part of end of life care thereby ensuring that patients who may potentially donate are given the opportunity to so do.


Donors can donate up to nine organs and tissues. Each donated organ and tissue saves and transforms the lives of the recipient and their family. Every donor matters.


The drive to encourage people to consider donation has been very successful and the number of people donating organs after their death has increased dramatically both within The Western Trust and across N. Ireland. Similarly the percentage of the population registering as potential donors is increasing.


In the past 12 months there have been twelve donors within the Trust.  This has resulted in the donation of 46 solid organs and 10 tissues.  Thus, multiple lives have been saved and transformed.


In addition to increasing the number of donors and the number of organs and tissues retrieved annually in the Trust we want to raise staff awareness of organ and tissue donation and to encourage everyone to consider registering themselves as potential donors with the N.H.S. Organ Donor Register. Having registered it is vital that individuals inform their next of kin of their decision as following death next of kin are always consulted about the individual’s wishes.


The NHS Organ Donor Register is a national electronic list of people who have indicated their willingness to donate organs or tissues after their death. More than 19.5 million people have joined the NHS Organ Donor Register. For more information or to add your name to the register visit


Further useful information may be obtained at


Alternatively contact the Specialist Nurses for Organ Donation: (Altnagelvin Hospital) or (South West Acute Hospital).



Dr Declan Grace

Lead Clinician for Organ Donation,

Western Health and Social Care Trust



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