Issued on behalf of NHS Blood & Transplant
Belfast residents were kept entertained during yesterday’s morning commute and throughout the day as part of activity for National Transplant Week 2011. This was to highlight that over 2001 people in Northern Ireland are waiting for an organ transplant2.
NHS Blood & Transplant (NHSBT) and Health & Social Care NI (HSCNI) teams hit the streets with entertainers including Joby Fox, singer & songwriter, and pupils from Newtownards-based Pauline Walker Dance & Stage School.
Recent research revealed that whilst two fifths of the UK (40%) recognise that the hardest thing to wait for would be a life-saving transplant, only 27% of people in Northern Ireland have signed up to the NHS Organ Donor Register.
Belfast based, Kathryn Glover who received a kidney in 2009 commented: “Waiting for my kidney transplant has been the hardest thing I have ever had to wait for in my life, I cannot explain the range of emotions I experienced during this time from fear to pure joy. It takes about a minute to sign up to the Organ Donor Register and yet that action has the potential to make such a difference.”
Pauline Aubrey, Regional Manager for NHS Blood & Transplant said: “We all know how frustrating it is to wait for something we want – be it a bus, exam results or a delivery at home – but our lives don’t depend on it. Imagine how it feels to be one of those waiting on average three years for a life saving organ transplant.
“This National Transplant Week we are asking everyone to do their bit to reduce the wait for others and join the NHS Organ Donor Register, then share their wishes with their family and friends so that more lives can be saved. It only takes two minutes – what are you waiting for?”
Dr Eddie Rooney, Chief Executive, PHA, and Chair of the Organ Donation Taskforce Implementation Group said: “Transplant Awareness Week provides an excellent opportunity to create awareness of the need for organ donors and encourage everyone to sign up to the NHS Organ Donor Register.
I was thrilled to come along and support NHSBT’s ‘What are you waiting for?’ event in Belfast which was a great success and very enjoyable. There is currently 28% of the population in Northern Ireland on the NHS Organ Donor Register and while this is a fantastic achievement, there are still not enough organs available for transplant, with around 300 people still waiting for a suitable organ.
I would urge everyone in Northern Ireland who has not yet done so to sign up to the organ donor register and reduce the waiting time of those on the transplant list. It just takes a couple of minutes to register and you could be saving lives.”
To find out more about the event or to sign up to the NHS Organ Donor Register, visit www.transplantweek.co.uk
Caption for photograph: Pictured at NHSBT’s ‘What are you waiting for event’ for National Transplant Awareness Week are (clockwise from L-R) Paula Aubrey, Regional Manager, NHSBT, Eleanor Donaghy, Northern Ireland Donation Services, Team Manager, Dr Eddie Rooney, Chief executive, PHA, Stella Officer, dialysis patient, Monica Hackett Northern Ireland Donation Services, Team Manager
For further information, please contact Annabel Darby on 020 7815 3900 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to the editor
Notes to Editor
1. Active transplant list as at 25 May 2011
2. There are currently 7,573 people in the UK on the active waiting list for an organ transplant. This figure changes constantly as people join and leave the transplant list. A further 2,873 people are on the suspended list because they are too ill or unable to receive a transplant at present. This brings the current total needing an organ transplant in the UK to 10,446.
3. NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) is a Special Health Authority in the NHS. It is the organ donation organisation for the UK, with responsibility for matching and allocating donated organs. Its remit also includes the provision of a safe, sufficient supply of blood and associated services to the NHS in England and North Wales.
4.The NHS Organ Donor Register records the details of people who have registered their wishes to donate organs and/or tissue after their death for transplantation. This information is used by authorised medical staff to establish whether a person wanted to donate.
5. It’s simple to join the ODR by:
- going to www.organdonation.nhs.uk
- ringing 0300 123 23 23
- texting SAVE to 84118
6.Anyone can register on the ODR. Age isn’t a barrier to being an organ or tissue donor and neither are most medical conditions. People in their 70s and 80s have become organ donors and saved many lives whilst the oldest recorded cornea donor was 104 years old.
7. One donor can save or transform up to 9 lives and many more can be helped through the donation of tissues.