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NHS staff awareness, attitudes and actions towards the change in organ donation law in England—results of the #options survey 2020

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Dorothy Coe, Dr Natasha Newell, Dr David Reaich, Professor Caroline Wroe



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


© 2023, Crown.Background: In Spring 2020 there was a change in organ donation legislation in England (UK). Much is known about public opinions to organ donation and the change in legislation, however, there is little evidence about the opinions of the NHS workforce. This study set out to understand the levels of awareness, support and action of NHS staff to this change and explore the impact of respondent demographics, place and type of work on awareness, support and action. Methods: An online survey was offered to all NHS organisations in North Thames and the North East and North Cumbria through the NIHR Clinical Research Network between July and December 2020. Participating organisations were provided with an information package and promoted the survey via email and internal staff communications. Associations were compared univariately using chi-square tests and logistic regression was used for multivariable analysis to compare findings with NHS Blood and Transplant public Kantar survey data. Results: A total of 5789 staff participated in the survey. They were more aware, more supportive, more likely to have discussed their organ donation choices with family and more likely to be on the organ donor register than the public. This increased awareness and support was found across minority ethnic and religious groups. Those working in a transplanting centre were most aware and supportive and those working in the ambulance service were most likely to ‘opt-in’ following the change in legislation. Conclusions: NHS staff in England were well informed about the change in organ donation legislation and levels of support were high. NHS staff were six times more likely than the public to have a conversation with their family about their organ donation choices. The size and ethnic diversity of the NHS workforce offers an opportunity to enable and support NHS staff to be advocates for organ donation and raise awareness of the change in legislation amongst their communities.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Coe D, Newell N, Jones M, Robb M, Clark N, Reaich D, Wroe C

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Archives of Public Health

Year: 2023

Volume: 81

Issue: 1

Online publication date: 10/05/2023

Acceptance date: 28/04/2023

Date deposited: 01/06/2023

ISSN (print): 0778-7367

ISSN (electronic): 2049-3258

Publisher: BioMed Central Ltd


DOI: 10.1186/s13690-023-01099-y


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Funder referenceFunder name
Northern Counties Research Fund