Organ Donation Wales

Golley Slater

This is the story of how Wales went from worst country in the UK for organ donations, to best. And how it became an international example of best practice. Though Wales was not the first country to implement an 'opt-out' law for organ donation (whereby a person's consent is deemed unless they actively say otherwise) it was the first country to marry legislation with effective creative communications. Over 8 years, our behavioural campaign has taken a three-pronged approach:

1.To raise awareness of the new law (to educate citizens and avoid any negative backlash)

2.To encourage conversations about organ donation between loved ones (to avoid family members overriding decisions at crucial, life-or-death moments)

3.To encourage openness around decisions (so that wishes are made clear and supported by loved ones)

At each phase, strategy was partnered with bold creative ideas: from people walking around with digital clocks built into them; human mouths overtaken by family members' voices who want to override their decisions; to elaborate parlour guessing games where people are desperately trying to explain their donation wishes to others.

This campaign has resulted in:

- 90% of people in Wales aware of the legislation.

- Consent rates of 77% (up 27% since the start of the campaign and now highest in the UK).

- Approximately 950 life-saving organs donated.

- 2.4 million people in Wales consenting to organ donation.