Meat market: NHS matches with Tinder in new organ donor drive

© Jonathan Alcorn
The National Health Service (NHS) has matched with dating app Tinder and a range of celebrities in a bid to encourage more young people to sign up to the organ donor register.

The location-based dating and social discovery app is used by millions of love-seekers. However, for the next two weeks, celebrities will be active on the app encouraging users to match with them and join ‘The Wait’ donation campaign.

Jamie Laing from reality TV show Made in Chelsea is backing the campaign, along with Olympic gold medalist Jade Jones and Gemma Oaten from the British soap opera Emmerdale.

I’ve teamed up with the NHS and @tinder to show the importance of organ donation!” Laing said on Twitter.

Tinder users who swipe right to flirt with celebrities will receive a message that says: “If only it was that easy for those in need of a live-saving organ to find a match.”

The campaign, which targets the app’s 18 to 35 demographic, will remind users of the delay many people face in finding a suitable organ match.

Nearly 7,000 people in the UK are on the transplant waiting list, and in the past decade, 6,000 people have died while waiting.

According to the latest NHS Organ Donation and Transplantation Activity report, the number of people to donate organs fell from 4,655 in 2013/14 to 4,431 in 2014/15.

The low consent/authorization rate is one of the reasons for the fall, according to the report. It currently remains below 60 percent.

Unless there is a revolution in attitudes to organ donation, people waiting for a transplant will continue to die needlessly,” the report says.

In a statement, Sally Johnson, director of organ donation and transplantation at NHS Blood and Transplant, said: “While a third of the UK population have registered their intention to donate on the NHS Organ Donor Register, millions more support donation, but haven’t taken the final step to sign up.

With the help of these bespoke profiles on Tinder, we’ll grab people’s attention and throw a spotlight on the importance of organ donation. Joining the register takes only a couple of minutes – about the same amount of time as a few swipes on Tinder.

The best part is knowing that you could save or improve up to nine individuals’ lives in the future.”

Tinder said it hopes the dating app encourages more people to become donors.

While those swiping decisions are important and could be the first step to a successful relationship, we hope that the NHS profiles featuring Jamie, Jade and Gemma will encourage people to make and act upon a different decision too – to sign up as an organ donor,” a spokesperson for the app told the Press Association.

Last month, Wales became the first UK nation to make every adult a potential organ donor. The new ‘opt-out’ system means people who do not want to donate their organs will have to formally opt out.