BAME Market Research


There is a vital need to encourage more people from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities to join the NHS Organ Donor Register (ODR) and share their donation decision with their loved ones.

Currently there are over 650 Black and 1,150 South Asian patients waiting for a transplant. This is because people from BAME communities are more susceptible to illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease and kidney failure that can lead to organ failure. Since the chances of a successful transplant are increased when the ethnicity of the donor and recipient are the same, it is critical that as many people from these communities donate if and when they can. A first step towards this is to join the Register and let their families know their decision.

Two thirds (66%) of BAME families refuse to give permission for their loved ones organs to be donated and the number of patients from their communities on the transplant waiting list stays high, or, in the case of the kidney waiting list, continues to rise. We need to act.

Market research conducted in 2013 by Optimisa Research, as well as previous work conducted by NHSBT and other key stakeholders including the National Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Transplant Alliance (NBTA), Dr Adnan Sharif, Sarah Deedat, Charlotte Kenten and Myfanwy Morgan, revealed a number of religious and cultural beliefs within BAME communities that impact on support for organ donation. As a result, a need was identified to achieve a deeper understanding of these factors in order to inform the future strategy for increasing donation and consent rates within these communities. Optimisa Research was engaged to conduct a programme of qualitative and quantitative research among BAME audiences to:

  • Examine BAME attitudes and the impact of religious beliefs on people’s behaviour with respect to supporting organ donation
  • Explore preferred and trusted channels for receiving information about organ donation
  • Explore trusted messaging and imagery

This report sets out the findings of the research into BAME Organ Donation 2014 – Gaining a deeper understanding of attitudes, cultural and lifestyle influences and behaviours towards organ donation within BAME communities in the UK.

Thank you in advance for helping us. It is hoped that this initiative will establish a platform for staff to share and consult on best examples and will help us deepen our knowledge on faith related barriers and issues on organ donation and transplantation.

In May 2013, NHSBT hosted a Faith Summit where 50 faith leaders met representatives of NHSBT to discuss how to allow everyone in the UK to support organ donation. In December 2013, Professor Gurch Randhawa published the Faith Engagement and Organ Donation Action plan. A preliminary response was made by Sally Johnson and plans are being developed to respond to these plans.

Next section: National Organ Donation Committee

Best Practice Guidance:

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