Organ donor recipients need mental health help

During today’s meeting of the Health Committee, which focused on the new opt-out organ donation system, Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP appealed to the government to boost mental health services for organ donor recipients.

Dr Sue Robertson, Deputy Chair of BMA Scotland, who gave evidence to the Committee, highlighted the “huge amount of pressure” on patients with a failing organ and the negative effect it has on their mental health. She confirmed there was “too little resource applied to this group of patients” and said any increase in support would be “gratefully accepted”.

Alex Cole-Hamilton said:

“Many patients find the wait for a transplant an anxiety-inducing emotional rollercoaster. The daily wait for good news is taxing and the false hope of unsuitable matches can be extremely distressing.

“Services are lacking for these patients. Professionals are telling us the resources aren’t there.

“The Health Minister needs to review specialist mental health provisions for organ donor recipients and ensure the staff and support is there for people before and after surgery.”  

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