About organ donation

The gift of life through organ donation saves lives. It is often the best and sometimes only treatment available for those who suffer disease or failure of a major organ.

Many patients both old and young receive life-changing transplants each year. This gift however is dependant on the generosity of donors and their families who are willing to consider donation of organs and tissues.

Aims of the Organ Donation Committee

The Organ Donation Committee is formed from a core group of individuals at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) who work closely with many of the hospital services, ensuring that strategies and resources are in place to ensure that donation can occur in a streamlined manner.

We ensure that there are robust policies in place and that we maintain best practice alongside national guidance in all aspects of end of life and donation practices.

We believe that all families should have the opportunity to be involved in decision making around donation and other end of life issues and we strive to ensure these choices are given to families in a timely manner. 

The committee also works to promote knowledge and awareness of donation and its benefits throughout the hospital and the wider community. 

Patient stories

Meet Summer and Ella, two teenagers who received organ donations at GOSH. This film also features teens discussing some of the key issues and concerns that people their age may have about registering their decision.  

A precious gift of life

If the video is not showing, please watch it on YouTube

The figures

in 2012-13 there were 3,113 life-saving transplants carried out following 1,212 donors families agreeing to offer the precious gift of life following their loved one's death.

In 2010-11, 44 children in the UK became donors and together made 214 life-saving transplants possible. You can read stories from donor families and patients on the NHS Blood and Transplant website.

The Organ Donor Register (ODR) has now passed 20 million people. Of those registered, over 500,000 are under 18 years old.

Who's who

Dr Joe Brierley
Clinical Lead, Organ Donation

Dr Brierley co-authored an article in the journal Acta Paediatrica calling for changes to the current organ donation process and can also be heard on BBC Radio 4's Women Hour talking about why he thinks the issue of organ donation should be added to the National Curriculum.

Angie Scales
Specialist Nurse, Organ Donation

Martin Ingram
Donation Committee Chair

Elaine Copley
Donation Committee Vice Chair

Join the Organ Donor Register

To find out more about organ donation, please visit the NHS Blood and Transplant website, call the Organ Donor Line on 0300 123 2323 or text the word 'SAVE' to 84118.

Real stories

Read more patient stories and interviews about organ transplants and donation:

BBC Great Ormond Street documentary series

Heart transplant real stories

Ellis's kidney transplant

Mason's life after lung transplant

For more patient stories and news stories about organ transplant and donation, visit Lifeline, the Great Ormond Street Hospital blog.