At the most recent national census in 2011, black and minority ethnic (BAME) groups (including those identifying as “Other”) made up approximately 14% of the population. However, figures for 2017/18 show that just 5.5% of deceased organ donors were black or of mixed or Asian heritage. The discrepancy is less stark for living organ donors, with 13% of all living donors coming from BAME communities. Ethnic background is often a determining factor in making a match for a successful transplant, so the shortfall in BAME donors has significant consequences. For example, NHS Blood and Transplant says:
“There is a longer waiting time for kidney transplants for black and Asian patients v white patients (average wait approx. 2.5 years v 2 years for a white patient)”
This policy is a pledge to initiate a campaign to increase the number of BAME donors.
In July 2018, the government announced a national campaign which fulfils this promise. It includes a community investment scheme to help “address myths and barriers and bring attention to the lifesaving power of donation”.
In September 2018, NHS Blood and Transplant published a funding call for organisations to apply for funding under the new campaign.
The national campaign was announced in July 2018; the funding call in September 2018 is evidence that the campaign is under way. This policy only promised to “launch” the campaign, so we’re giving it a status of ‘done’. Nonetheless, we will keep tracking to see if the campaign results in improved rates of BAME organ donation, so follow this policy to stay informed.
Get the details
- Key stats from the BAME supplementary report 2017-18 – NHS
- 2011 Census: Small population tables for England and Wales – Office for National Statistics
- Campaign to increase number of bame organ donors announced – Gov.uk
- Organ donation and ethnicity – NHS
- Organ Donation and Transplantation data for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities – NHS
- The Heart of the Issue: Organ donation in London’s ethnic minority communities – London Assembly