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Register for an Organ Donor Card

Register for an Organ Donor Card

This week is Organ Donation Week, run by the NHS Blood and Transplant Service.

It was back in 1971 that the Donor card for kidney donation was introduced, to show a person wishes to donate their organs. In 1994, following a five-year campaign, the NHS Organ Donor Register was set up to co-ordinate supply and demand. 

Anyone can register to donate their organs and tissue when they die, regardless of their age or medical conditions.

To ensure that all donated organs are safe, the donor's medical and lifestyle history is assessed at the time of donation.

An organ donor card is a great way to show you’re committed to saving lives. You can carry your card in your purse or wallet as a symbol of your decision to help others. Follow this link to find out more about the Donor Card

However, you don’t need to carry an organ donor card for your organs to be donated. Medical staff will always consult the NHS Organ Donor Register if your organs could be used to help others when you die.

Before the removal of organs takes place, your family would be asked to support your decision to donate and to provide important information about you.

So, if you are signed up as a donor and have a donor card, please remember to tell your family. Let them know that you want them to help honour your decision to donate when you die. Ask them if they want to donate too.

Faith and belief donor cards

If you support organ donation, why not download a donor card that reflects your faith or belief system? Donor cards show you support organ donation and can be used to prompt a conversation with those who matter to you.

If you wish to, you can talk to the National Blood and Transplant team about the opt out system

Call the dedicated line 0300 303 2094

Mon – Fri: 8am - 8pm

Sat and Sun: 8am - 4pm

Minicom: 0845 730 0106

Text chat: 07860 034343

Organ donation facts and figures

1954    The first successful kidney transplant operation is performed by Dr Joseph Murray in Boston, Massachusetts. The technique has since saved over 400,000 lives worldwide


1965       A kidney transplant in the UK uses an organ donated from a dead person for the first time.


1968       Britain’s first heart transplant is carried out by a team of 18 doctors and nurses at the National Heart Hospital in London. 


1971       Donor card for kidney donation is introduced


1994       Following a five-year campaign, the NHS Organ Donor Register is set up


2005       UK Transplant merged with the National Blood Service to form NHS Blood and Transplant


2018       There are now over 25 million people on the NHS Organ Donor Register


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Published on 13 September 2020