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Be an organ donor – and tell your loved ones

Derbyshire health bosses have urged residents to sign up to the Organ Donor Register and let those closest to them know they have done it.

The plea was made this week by Dr Avi Bhatia, Chair of NHS Erewash Clinical Commissioning Group, and Dr Sheila Newport, Chair of NHS Southern Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group. Between them, the two CCGs represent 69 GP practices.

Their appeal was made to mark National Transplant Week running to Sunday (14 July) and was prompted by the fact that there are 149 people in Derbyshire waiting for a transplant while 42 people in the county have died due to the shortage of organs over the last four years*.

Despite the thousands of life-saving transplants that take place every year, around 7,300 people remain on the transplant waiting list in the UK.

Latest figures show that, while 95 per cent of families agree to donation if a loved one is registered and has discussed their wishes, this drops to just 46 per cent when donation wishes aren’t known.

Dr Bhatia said:

“So far this year, 12 people in Derbyshire have benefited from life-saving transplants**.

“To help more people we need everyone, including the 307,183 people on the NHS Organ Donor Register in Derbyshire, to talk to their loved ones about their donation wishes***.

Dr Newport added:

“We need a large increase in donor and family consent to organ donation because the UK’s family refusal rate remains one of the highest in Europe.

“Thousands of transplantable organs are lost every year as a result of refused consent, and people waiting for transplants die unnecessarily. If we can improve the consent rate, we can reduce that death rate dramatically.”

Now, NHS Blood and Transplant is urging people to talk to their loved ones about donation and then sign up to the Organ Donor Register by visiting

www.transplantweek.co.uk, calling 0300 123 2323 or texting DONATE to 62323.

For more information on National Transplant Week, visit www.transplantweek.co.uk, keep an eye on http://www.facebook.com/organdonationuk or follow the campaign on Twitter

@NHSOrganDonor.

Actors David Harewood and Wil Johnson and news presenter Kay Burley have each made a short film to inspire people to have a conversation about donation with their loved ones. Meanwhile, Richard Branson has made a film highlighting the need for people to join the donor register.

Each film is a personal interpretation of a conversation explaining why they support organ donation and showing just how easy it is to let loved ones know you have signed up to the register.

To watch the films, visit www.youtube.com/transplantweek.

* Figures on 18 June 2013. Those waiting includes those actively waiting on the list ready for a transplant, and those temporarily suspended due to illness or holidays.

Death figures are for period from 1 April 2009-19 June 2013 and include those on the waiting list and those removed from the waiting list due to deterioration in their condition

** Deceased donor organ transplants carried out 1 April 2013- 19 June 2013.

*** Number on the NHS Organ Donor Register on 19 June 2013

NOTES TO EDITORS:

NHS Erewash CCG represents 12 GP practices, acting on behalf of 96,000 patients in Ilkeston, Long Eaton and surrounding villages. They are one of four clinical commissioning groups in the county responsible for the healthcare of people in Derbyshire.

NHS Southern Derbyshire CCG represents 57 GP practices and is one of four clinical commissioning groups in the county responsible for the healthcare of people in Derbyshire.

MEDIA CONTACT:

Charles Malkin, Communications Officer

Tel: 01246 514971/07450 014496

Email: charles.malkin@derwentsharedservices.nhs.uk

Ref: PCT/RHR/372

Derbyshire health bosses have urged residents to sign up to the Organ Donor Register and let those closest to them know they have done it.