This Organ Donation Week (18 September to 24 September) NHS Blood and Transplant and Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust are calling on people to confirm their organ donation decision on the NHS Organ Donor Register as more than 7,000 people are currently waiting for a life-saving transplant across the UK.
Around 495,000 people in Gloucestershire-out of a total population of 645,000 have already declared their decision through the NHS Organ Donor Register. This is one of the highest figures in the UK.
However, most people have not confirmed their decision on the register, which is the best way for their family to know what they want. Nine out of 10 families will support organ donation if their family member had confirmed their decision on the NHS Organ Donor Register.
Mark Haslam, Consultant in Anaesthesia and Intensive Care Medicine as well as clinical lead for organ donation at Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS FT, said:
“Our message to people this week to encourage them to sign up to the Organ Donation Register(ODR) online is very simple: Just take two minutes to sign up to save up to nine lives. Giving someone the gift of life is surely the greatest gift you can give.”
He added: “Confirming your decision to donate on the NHS Organ Donor Register gives families the confidence they need to support your decision around organ donation at what is a difficult and emotional time. We need more people in Gloucestershire to confirm their decision on the register today in order to hopefully save more lives in the future.”
Doug Forbes,41, from Cheltenham, who received a double lung transplant backs the sign-up call.
“You must make your family certain of your wishes. It is vital you share those wishes with your family and leave them certain what you wish to happen to your body after you have died.
“For up to 9 people it can be absolutely life changing. I wouldn’t have lasted long without the generosity of my donor and their family. I wouldn’t be a father to my son, Silas who will be six next month.”
During this week, the Gloucestershire Organ Donation Committee is asking companies and colleges to encourage their employees and students to sign the Organ Donation Register. Stagecoach are printing a sign-up message on their bus tickets.
Anthony Clarkson, Director of Organ and Tissue Donation and Transplantation for NHS Blood and Transplant said: “We appreciate the support of the Gloucestershire hospitals during Organ Donation Week.
“Every day across the UK thousands of patients and their families are waiting for a life-saving call. But this can often only happen as a result of another family receiving very difficult news and supporting organ donation to help others. “
To find out more and confirm your decision, visit the NHS Organ Donor Register at www.organdonation.nhs.uk. Users of the NHS app, can also use this to record, check or amend their details or decision.