This Organ Donation Week (20th to 26th September) NHS Blood and Transplant and Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust are calling on people to talk to their families about organ donation and leave them certain about their decision.
Blood and tissue types need to match for a transplant to be successful, and organs from donors of the same ethnic background as the recipient are more likely to be a close match. As of the 1 August 2021 there were 385,461 people in Buckinghamshire 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.
Andrew McLaren, Chief Medical Officer for the Trust said: “We would urge more people in Buckinghamshire, from all communities and ethnicities, to talk with their loved ones about organ donation to give them the certainty they need to support their organ donation decision.”
This week, Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust is supporting the Light It Up Pink initiative and will be illuminating the Rotunda at Stoke Mandeville Hospital and the tower at Wycombe Hospital in pink as inspired by the pink Organ Donation card.
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.