During Organ Donation Week, September 2 to 8, NHS Blood and Transplant and Luton & Dunstable University Hospital (L&D) are urging people to talk to their families about organ donation to increase the number of people whose lives can be saved or transformed by an organ transplant.
Next year, the law around organ donation is changing in England. From spring 2020, all adults in England will be considered as having agreed to donate their own organs when they die unless they record a decision not to donate or are in one of the excluded groups.
In the lead up to the change in law, NHS Blood and Transplant is urging families across England to talk about their organ donation decision, with the campaign message ‘Pass it on’.
Even after the law has changed, families will continue to be approached before organ donation goes ahead. Knowing what their relative wanted, helps families support their decision at a difficult time.
A recent survey of adults in England for NHS Blood and Transplant found that while 84% agreed it was important to let those closest to you know your views on organ donation, only 40% had shared their organ donation decision with their family or partner.
More and more families in Bedfordshire are saying yes to organ donation but there is still an urgent shortage of donors. The L&D is asking local people to tell their families they want to donate to help make sure more lives are saved.
Anthony Clarkson, Director of Organ Donation and Transplantation for NHS Blood and Transplant said: “We are very grateful to the L&D for its support during Organ Donation Week.
““Even after the law around organ donation changes next year, families will still be approached before organ donation goes ahead. So it remains so important to talk to your families about your views.
“Register your organ donation decision on the NHS Organ Donor Register and tell your family the choice you have made. If the time comes, we know families find the organ donation conversation with nurses or medical teams much easier if they already know what their relative wanted.”
Find out more and register your decision by visiting NHS Organ Donor Register at www.organdonation.nhs.uk and share your decision with your family.
To families of all our patients, we wanted to give a reminder that sadly, at both Bedford and the Luton & Dunstable Hospital, we are still unable to allow any visitors on site, unless there are exceptional circumstances, for example in maternity or children’s departments, or for those patients who are receiving palliative treatment at the end of their lives, on a case-by-case basis.
At Bedford we will call one designated member of family every day between 1.30pm and 4.30pm with a daily phone update. Those who miss a call back during this time and are concerned can contact the helpline on 01234 730500.
For the Luton & Dunstable, we are offering a dedicated Next of Kin helpline for family members who want to check up on their loved ones – please nominate one family member to call 01582 718884 between 8am and 6pm.