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Organ allocation system to be reviewed

The rules governing organ transplants for NHS patients and non-UK EU residents are to be reviewed

The rules governing organ transplants for NHS patients and non-UK EU residents are to be reviewed.

Health Secretary Alan Johnson announced the review, which aims to ensure public confidence in the fairness of the system that sees many organs from deceased UK donors transplanted into non-UK resident EU nationals each year.

"We are aware that some people resident in other countries within the European Union needing transplants are being referred to the UK. This had led to accusations of priority being given to non-UK patients. We want to optimise the availability of organs for transplant for NHS patients and ensure public confidence in the fairness and transparency of the organ allocation system in the UK," said Johnson.

As well as reassuring the public about the integrity of the UK transplant programme, the review will enable individual transplant centres to review their policies ensuring the needs of UK patients are met within the framework of European law.

Chair of the former Organ Donation Taskforce, Elisabeth Buggins will lead the review. Commenting on her role, she said: "I recognise that this is a complex and sensitive area. It is important to be able to build the confidence of the public in the integrity of the systems that determine how precious donated organs are allocated to individual patients, and to provide clear guidance to the transplant community."

11th March 2009

From: Healthcare

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