NHS Staff on the Fylde coast are doing their bit to promote the benefits of organ donation.
During Organ Donation Week, NHS Blood and Transplant is 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.
Around 130 people across Lancashire are currently on the waiting list for life-saving organs while las year104 people in the county had a life saving transplant.
Across the UK, around 6,000 people are waiting for an organ transplant and three people a day die in need of a transplant due to a shortage of people being willing to donate organs.
Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has a team devoted to improving organ donation awareness across the Fylde coast with Blackpool Victoria Hospital recently building a sculpture outside its main entrance to pay tribute to those people across the Fylde coast who donated organs.
Lee Coulthard, Specialist Nurse for Organ Donation at the Trust, said: “Organ donation week is spent promoting organ donation and it’s benefits to those waiting for a lifesaving transplant.
“However it’s also vitally important that we remember those who have given such an amazing gift in order to save those lives.
“Not everyone will be aware but at Blackpool Teaching Hospitals, we have a permanent tribute to all those who have saved and improved lives through the gift of donation at Blackpool Victoria Hospital at the main entrance of the hospital.
“We would encourage all visitors to the hospital to take a moment to visit the sculpture and reflect on the selfless gift given by others.’’
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’.
A recent survey of adults in England for NHS Blood and Transplant found that while 84 per cent 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 on the Fylde coast are saying yes to organ donation but there is still an urgent shortage of donors.
Anthony Clarkson, director of Organ Donation and Transplantation for NHS Blood and Transplant said: “We need more people across the Fylde coast to talk about organ donation to increase the number of lifesaving transplants.
“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 organdonation.nhs.uk and share your decision with your family.