More than 1,000 people saved the lives of over 2,700 individuals last year, the highest ever, announced NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT).
The 1,014 donors represented a 28% increase in deceased donation since the beginning of 2008, when initiatives designed to increase donation in hospitals across the UK began.
"Thanks to the altruism of donors and their families, a record number of organs were made available for transplantation in 2010 and a record number of peoples' lives were saved or improved as a result", said Lynda Hamlyn, Chief Executive, NHSBT.
Today's announcement shows that the initiatives of the last two years are delivering results. It highlights the value of having clinical leads, specialist nurses and Organ Donation committees in hospitals, promoting organ donation and removing barriers to make sure it becomes normal everyday practice.
"We have worked closely with frontline NHS services to make organ donation a usual rather than unusual event. We will continue with our work to increase donation rates to save more lives and stop avoidable deaths of patients awaiting an organ transplant," said Ms Hamlyn.
These improvements are based on the implementation of the Organ Donation Taskforce recommendations made in 2008. This aimed to bring about a 50% increase in organ donation rates by 2013.
Dr Paul Murphy, an Intensive Care Consultant in Leeds and NHSBT's National Clinical Lead for Organ Donation said: "All the evidence points towards increasing donation rates through support and training for those who care for potential organ donors and their families. NHSBT's work, supported by the UK Governments' Health Departments, has been vital in increasing donation."
Clinical Leads, who are mainly intensive care consultants, work collaboratively with Specialist Nurses in Organ Donation, most of whom are resident in hospitals. They work alongside hospital donation committees to champion donation and streamline the pathways of potential donors. This helps make sure that more people have their decision to donate fulfilled and more lives are saved through transplantation.
Chris Rudge, National Clinical Director for Transplantation said, "The rise in organ donor numbers to over 1000 in 2010, for the first time, is extremely welcome news and a tribute to the generosity of the donors and their families, and they deserve our sincere thanks. It is also a tribute to the extremely hard work of clinicians and specialist nurses across the UK. The need for more transplants remains and I hope that the developments over the past two years will allow progress to be maintained through the coming year."
NHS Blood and Transplant