Publish date: 5 October 2021
NHS Blood and Transplant and Tameside and Glossop Integrated Care NHS FT are calling on people to talk to their families about organ donation
Many people in Tameside and the surrounding communities may already be on the NHS Organ Donor Register. However, people need to tell their family to help ensure their family supports their decision if they are approached about organ donation by a specialist nurse in hospital.
The law around organ donation changed in England in May 2020 and all adults are now considered as having agreed to donate their own organs when they die, unless they record a decision not to donate, are in one of the excluded groups or have told their family that they don’t want to donate.
However, relatives will still always be consulted before organ donation goes ahead and, each year, opportunities for transplants are missed because families aren't sure what to do.
This year, organ donation has also been added to the National Curriculum for the first time, so family members, whatever their age, are being encouraged to get together to talk about their own organ donation decisions.
As part of the recent Organ Donation Week, Tameside Hospital unveiled some newly wrapped lifts which encourages individuals to have a conversation about organ donation and confirm that decision by joining the Organ Donor Register.
Martyn Taylor, Non-Executive Director and Chair of the Organ Donation Committee at Tameside and Glossop Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust said: “We need more people in Tameside and the surrounding areas to talk about organ donation to increase the number of lifesaving transplants. It is important to have the discussion about organ donation with family at home and to make your decision clear to your loved ones. We hope that the bright new lift wraps at the Trust will raise awareness and start a conversation about organ donation.”
These conversations are especially important for local residents from Black and Asian backgrounds. People from these communities are more likely to need a transplant, however, often wait longer as the best chance of a match will often come from someone of the same ethnicity.
Niki Hargreaves, Specialist Nurse for Organ Donation Team Manager at North West Organ Donation Services said: “Your loved ones will always be consulted before organ donation goes ahead. Please don’t wait. Speak to your family about organ donation and let them know your decision today.” 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 much easier if they already know what their relative wanted.”
To find out more and register your decision, visit the NHS Organ Donor Register at www.organdonation.nhs.uk and share your decision with your family. Users of the NHS app, can also use this to record, check or amend their details or decision.