Would you take an organ if you needed one? Nearly everyone would, but only one in four of us in Northern Ireland has joined the Organ Donor Register.
In an effort to increase sign-up, the Public Health Agency (PHA) has teamed up with public sector union UNISON to promote a workplace initiative to encourage organ donation. With over 40,000 members, the partnership with UNISON provides an ideal opportunity to mobilise the workforce to boost the donor register.
The goal is to ensure that anyone who needs an organ – be it kidney, heart or liver – gets one. With the support of UNISON members, the target of increasing the number of people on the donor register by 1% (17,000 people) by the end of 2011 is within reach.
Dr Eddie Rooney, Chief Executive, PHA, and Chair of the Northern Ireland Organ Donation Task Force Implementation Group, said: “With member welfare and the health of the people of Northern Ireland top priorities for both of us, we believe that it is only fitting for the two organisations to join forces to save lives.
“I was thrilled when UNISON agreed to come on board and help us in our quest for everyone in Northern Ireland to sign up to the Organ Donor Register. Already, UNISON members have been more than willing to come forward. But the message is the same for everyone who has not yet signed up - please do so today.”
Patricia McKeown, Regional Secretary, UNISON, said: “I was more than happy to help boost the Organ Donor Register and urge our members to sign up. It is something I am very passionate about. I hope to extend this agreement between Unison and the PHA, across the Irish Congress of Trade Unions as soon as possible. This is a great opportunity for UNISON to be part of something very rewarding and help save lives.”
Contact the Public Health Agency on 028 9031 1611.
Notes to the editor
Pictured at Mondays agreement between the PHA and UNISON are, from left, Patricia McKeown, Regional Secretary, UNISON, Lily Kerr, Head of Bargaining and Representation, UNISON and Dr Eddie Rooney, Chief Executive, PHA, and Chair of the Northern Ireland Organ Donation Task Force Implementation Group.
You can join the NHS Organ Donor Register by:
You can also join when you are:
• Registering for a driving licence
• Applying for a Boots Advantage Card
• Registering at a GP surgery
• Registering for a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)