Stark variations in the number of people registered to be organ donors have been exposed in a new interactive map.
In some parts of the UK just 16% of people are registered to donate organs in the event of their death, compared to as many as seven in 10 people in other regions.
The tool, created by mapping and analytics company Esri UK, shows which regions of the country have the highest proportion of organ donors and the lowest.
According to data from May 2018, the five regions with the highest percentages on the Organ Donor Register are:
1. South Hams in Devon – 71%
2. Malvern Hills District – 67%
3. Wiltshire – 64%
4. Edinburgh – 62%
5. Shropshire – 61%
Meanwhile there are six areas in Britain where fewer than one in five people have signed up:
1. Barking and Dagenham, in East London – 15.99%
2. Harlow, Essex – 16.2%
3. Newham, East London – 16.3%
4. Leicester – 19.4%
5=. Redbridge in East London and Luton – 19.9%
Jess Houghton, technical research consultant at Esri UK, who created the map, said: “Mapping complex data in this way makes it easier for the public to see how many people are on the organ donor register in their area and compare it with the rest of the country.”
According to NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT), as of 31 August 2018, there are 25,661,697 people on the Organ Donor Register across the UK.
Anthony Clarkson, interim head of organ donation and transplantation at NHSBT, said: “We recognise that there is a disparity in the numbers of registered donors between urban and rural areas.
“We don’t fully understand why more people in rural areas have joined the register and we welcome the debate.
“This is one of the drivers for Organ Donation Week – to get people everywhere to talk about it and to register so we can save more lives.
“People need to tell their family they want to save lives through organ donation. Words saves lives.”
The map, which also includes information on how many people were waiting for a transplant in May, can be found at: https://www.arcgis.com/apps/Styler/index.html?appid=44a3f48caae14bee8a7bb82ad1115a5b