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237.4 Diversity in organ donation in Scotland - improving awareness in black and ethnic minority groups

Radha Sundaram, United Kingdom

Intensive Care


Diversity in organ donation in Scotland - improving awareness in black and ethnic minority groups

Radha Sundaram1, Susan Hannah1, Bushra Riaz2.

1NHSBT, Scotland, Glasgow, United Kingdom; 2Policy, Kidney Research, Glasgow, United Kingdom

There is a continued imbalance between the need for organ transplants in Black and Minority Ethnic (BAME )communities in Scotland and the availability of suitable organs with the right blood and tissue type resulting in healthcare inequalities. Currently over 31% of transplant waiting lists in the UK are represented by BAME patients, only 7% of deceased donation are from BAME patients, 75% of opt outs are BAME patients with 70% of BAME families refusing  to consent to donation of their deceased relatives.Kidney Research UK along with the Scottish Government and NHS Blood and Transplant have championed the cause of equality of access to information for all faith and cultural groups and their communities to have an understanding of what organ donation means to them. With the change of legislation in Scotland (March 2021) it was even more imperative that people from all backgrounds were made aware that their faith and beliefs can be recorded on the organ donor register. Despite the pandemic, innovative solutions were found on how best to ensure information could be shared not only with local communities but include education for health care staff. The project used the digital platform to host a total of 13 webinars separately with the Muslim, Hindu and Sikh communities and one with Interfaith Scotland. Webinars have been held with medical students and the British Medical Association and Café Scientifique. Participation in webinars for nursing staff, staff working in NHSBT and doctors in training have also helped to inform healthcare workers about faith and cultural needs of diverse communities. Engagement with local media such as community radio (Awaz FM and Radio Ramadan) and digital magazines such as Asian Voice have aided the dissemination of information. These initiatives have resulted in positive outcomes with quantity and tone of media coverage, number of events and followers. people at local cultural events, schools and religious places. We have revised Faith leaflets for the Muslim, Hindu and Sikh faiths with contributions from not just faith leaders but members of the community to ensure accuracy, comprehensibility and accessibility. We are continuing to engage with MSPs from ethnic backgrounds via online meetings to encourage conversations about donation not just amongst their constituents but also in Parliament.
While it is difficult to actually quantify the tangible impact on organ donor registrations, continued engagement since 2015 in Scotland with commitment from NHSBT ( hosting Scotland s very first Faith seminar in June 2015) has resulted in an increase in BAME opt ins from 5.8% to 7.8% in 2019-2020 In summary we have harnessed the reach, impact and value of digital and social media platforms to continue this vital piece of work during a pandemic.

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