Child organ donation rates in the UK are still much too low despite the removal of many obstacles, according to new research.

Families of dying children are often not given the chance to consider the option of donation – and potentially save another child’s life, say scientists.

Initiatives have cleared the way for organ donation to be made easier, with the appointment of specialist staff and the establishment of organ donation committees in every acute hospital and health board.

And guidance on donations specifically from children has been published by national bodies.

But the overall rise has not been replicated in children, where rates have not budged and are lower than in other comparable countries, the study shows.

The study published in the Archives of Disease in Childhood comes after UK health officials warned in September that too many children were dying while waiting for an organ.

It identified wide variations in rates among children’s units across the UK and found little research on the topic, and performance and other issues at each stage of the process.