This Organ Donation Week (20 – 26 September) NHS Blood and Transplant and Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership NHS Trust (CWPT) are calling on people to talk to their families about organ donation and leave them certain about their decision.
Over 255,000 people in Warwickshire are already on the NHS Organ Donor Register. However, residents need to tell their family that they are registered to help ensure their family supports their decision if they are approached about organ donation 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 of their relatives wishes.
This year, organ donation has 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.
Mel Coombes, Chief Executive at CWPT, said: “Knowing what your relative wanted, helps families support their decision around organ donation at what is often a difficult time.
“We need more people in Coventry and Warwickshire to talk with their loved ones about organ donation to give them the certainty they need when making a decision regarding organ donation of a loved one.”
This week, CWPT is supporting the campaign by sharing information about organ donation and encouraging people to not only sign up to the NHS Organ Donor Register but have the conversation about their wishes with their family members. CWPT is asking people across the area to tell their families that they want to donate after their death to ensure more lives are saved.
Anthony Clarkson, Director of Organ and Tissue Donation and Transplantation for NHS Blood and Transplant said: “We are very grateful to CWPT for its support during Organ Donation Week.
“Even now the law has changed, families will continue to be approached before organ donation goes ahead. It remains so important to talk to your families and ensure they know what you want to happen.
“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.