Last updated:

Public more aware of organ opt out, survey reveals

Awareness of Wales’s new opt-out organ donation law is on the increase, a new survey has revealed.

organ donationIn a Welsh government survey of 1,000 people, 59 per cent said they were aware of the legislation coming into effect in December 2015 when adults will be expected to opt out of the Organ Donor Register, rather than opt in.

The survey was carried out in November last year and showed an increase of two percentage points against a similar survey carried out in June.

BMA Cymru Wales has welcomed the increase but said more work needed to be done to make sure the public were fully aware of the changes.

Increased understanding

BMA Welsh secretary Richard Lewis said: ‘We have always highlighted how important it is that all the public in Wales are made fully aware of the introduction of the programme which would enable them to make the appropriate choice on whether they wish to remain opted-in.

‘The BMA is pleased that, through the survey, the percentage of the public that are aware of the impending legislation is increasing, but considerably further work, in terms of a public information campaign is crucial. 

‘It is important that further efforts are made to increase these figures significantly as time will quickly pass from now until the introduction date. The momentum of the public information campaign must be maintained.’ 

The number of respondents who said they would opt out decreased from 20 per cent in June’s survey to 15 per cent in November’s. There was also small decrease in the proportion of people who said they were in favour of the change in legislation, from 61 per cent in June to 57 per cent in November.

An advertising campaign explaining the changes was launched at the beginning of the year. Called ‘It’s About Time’, the publicity campaign has focused on digital platforms to date but will appear in traditional media across Wales later this year.

 Read the Welsh government's research into public attitudes to organ donation

 Read about the BMA's work on organ donation 

 See how the BMA helped change the organ donation law in Wales

The story so far