Shropshire Council

Organ and tissue donation

  • Period: 01 June 2014 - 14 July 2014
  • Status: Closed
  • Audiences: Everyone
  • Topics: Public health
  • Type: Public

Public Health Shropshire is undertaking a research project to find out the views of people in Shropshire about organ and tissue donation.

Complete the survey now by clicking on ‘How to get involved' tab.


During a full Council meeting in late 2013 at Shropshire Council, there was a debate which centred on the current England 'opt-in' policy.  As a result of the detate the Health and Wellbeing Board were asked to gather the views of Shropshire residents on the topic of organ and tissue donation.

If the majority response is for the organ and tissue donation policy to stay the same, no action will be taken. However, if the majority response is for the organ and tissue donation policy to move to an ‘opt-out’ policy, this outcome may be used to lobby central government for a change in policy.

The outcomes of this research will be published during autumn 2014.

What is organ and tissue donation?

Organ and tissue donation is the gift of an organ (e.g. heart, lungs, kidneys, liver, pancreas and small bowel) or tissue (e.g. bone, skin, tendon and corneas (the transparent front part of your eye)) when you die to help someone who needs a transplant. People who need organ transplants go on to transplant lists to wait for a suitable donor to become available.  Find out more on the nhs organ donation website


There are two options of organ and tissue donation to be considered:


The current policy in England is ‘opt-in’; this means that people must sign up to the organ and tissue donation register, specifying which organs and/or tissues they are willing to donate after they die.

  • You can join the organ and tissue donation list no matter what your age or health.
  • You can choose to donate only specific organs.
  • Your family can still choose to override your request (and if you are under 18 your parents need to agree to your wishes).
  • If you are not signed up to the register, your family can still choose to donate your organs and/or tissues if they believe this is what you would have wished.


The ‘opt-out’ policy means that everyone is automatically considered to be a potential donor. An example option of an ‘opt-out’ policy would be:

  • If you do not wish to donate your organs or tissue you would need to register a decision not to be a donor.
  • If you do not register a decision it will be assumed that you are happy to donate your organs and tissue after you die.
  • You can choose to donate only specific organs.
  • You can appoint a representative to make a decision about consent on your behalf.
  • If you lack capacity to understand the policy, a representative will make a decision upon your behalf.

This is a ‘soft’ opt-out system as the family can still refuse the donation on the individual’s behalf if they believe that they did not want to be a donor.

Find out more about the options

To find out more about the current ‘opt-in’ policy in England see 

To find out more about the ‘opt-out’ policy being introduced in Wales in 2015 see

Take a look on the 'Get involved' tab to take the survey.

1179 complete responses (but 1248 incomplete responses received in total). Findings: 76% of respondents were in favour of an 'opt-out' scheme or an 'opt-out' scheme if certain other measures were in place. 68% of respondents were female. The majority of respondents wanted to receive further information on organ donation through the following mediums: leaflets left in pharmacies/GP practices/dentists (61%) or by researching online (57%). 10% of respondents lived in areas outside of Shropshire Council postcodes.

The results of the survey have  been taken to the Health and Wellbeing Board and are due to be presented to Full Council. The HWBB intends to share the report and its results with other HWBBs, local MPs and the Health Minister. Full Council will make a decision as to whether there is any further research to be completed.

We have a short online survey where you can let us have your thoughts on the options available about organ donation.

Take the survey now »

The survey will take no longer than 5 minutes to complete.

If you have any other queries about this research, use the contact details on this page to get in touch with us.  

If you know someone who would like to take part using a paper version, download the background/proposal information and also the paper version of the survey.

Data protection

Information collected in our surveys will only be used by us (Shropshire Council) to inform the immediate and future provision of our services. The information you provide will be kept confidential in accordance with our Privacy Policy. It will not be shared outside of Shropshire Council. Information collected via our online surveys (hosted on the Surveymonkey website) will be stored on SurveyMonkey’s servers in the United States of America and SurveyMonkey gives an undertaking never to disclose the survey questions or your responses to others without permission.