Organ donors in the UK will be allowed to donate their organs to a family member or close friend who are in need of a transplant, under new rules.

According to the new guidance, in some cases people will be able to request that their or a family member’s organs are given to a family member or close friend after they die.

The guidance will give frontline staff the necessary support in working with the families of deceased donors and organ recipients at a time that is stressful for both parties.

This will allow transplant teams to allocate organ donations flexibly, particularly where a family member intended to donate an organ, such as a kidney.

With these new rules, a significant balance has been struck between the wishes of those who agree to donate their organs unconditionally and the need to allocate organs on the basis of clinical need.

Frontline staff will be able to refer cases to the Requested Allocation Oversight Group if they need additional advice.

The well-established donation process involves respecting the wishes of donors, in consultation with their relatives, and the health and wellbeing of a sick patient will also be considered.