HC Deb 22 March 2004 vol 419 cc601-2W
Mr. Carmichael

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps he is taking to encourage voluntary organ donation; and how much the Government has spent promoting on(a) organ donor cards and (b)) the organ donor register in each year since 1997. [156621]

Ms Rosie Winterton

People are encouraged to join the organ donor register through a number of initiatives, including when they apply for a driving licence, register with a new general practitioner or, apply for a new passport. Additionally, UK Transplant runs publicity campaigns and targets action to raise the profile of organ donation, including specific advertising and information campaigns to increase organ donation from the South Asian and black African and Caribbean populations.

UK Transplant is currently running a pilot scheme with the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency to send out organ donor registration forms to all vehicle owners with the road tax reminder during January, March and April this year. The pilot will cover nine million vehicles and UK Transplant will assess the effectiveness of the pilot later in the year. There are currently over 11 million people on the register—19 per cent. of the United Kingdom population.

The amount spent for organ donation publicity and advertising for each year since 1997 is shown in the table.

Advertising Publicity
1997–98 20 420
1998–99 770 760
1999–2000 470 460
2000–01 430 450
2001–02 180 720
2002–03 210 690

UK Transplant took over responsibility for the organ donation campaign work from the Department of Health in April 2003. UK Transplant's overall budget is over £9 million, of which £900,000 is for publicity.