The Department of Health (DoH) will next year transfer responsibility for its &£900,000 organ donor advertising campaigns to transplant co-ordinating body UK Transplant.
The move is part of an urgent DoH plan, announced by Health Secretary Alan Milburn last year, to double the number of UK organ donors from 8 million to 16 million by 2010.
UK Transplant is an “arms-length” health authority, which matches and allocates organs to waiting patients and maintains waiting lists. The DoH believes the level of knowledge UK Transplant has in this field will increase the effectiveness of campaigns.
Advertising work will be overseen by UK Transplant director of communications Penny Hallett, who was drafted in last year to raise the profile of the body.
The transfer is expected to take place early next year, but no date has been set.
Last year, doctors removed organs from 847 people after their death, a negligible increase on the figure of 845 for 2000. There are 5,714 people in the UK waiting for an organ transplant.
Next month the DoH launches a poster and direct marketing campaign appealing for organ donors from African and African-Caribbean communities. It follows a similar campaign last year appealing for donors from the Asian community.