On the first day of Westfield Health British Transplant Games, The Public Health Agency (PHA) is delighted to announce that more people in Northern Ireland are joining the NHS Organ Donation Register; figures released today show that registration has reached an impressive 500,550.
With the Transplant Games in Belfast from today (Thursday 4 August), we hope that many more people will show their support and sign up to the Organ Donation Register. Although these new figures are exciting, the PHA is urging more people to join the Organ Donor Register. Almost 300 people in Northern Ireland are currently waiting for a transplant and not enough organs are available.
Dr Eddie Rooney, Chief Executive of the PHA and Chair of the Organ Donation Taskforce Implementation Group, said: “I am delighted that on the first day of the games we can say that registration has reached over half a million, it really is wonderful news. This is the result of the efforts of many individuals and organisations that support organ donation and it is a fantastic achievement, but we need more people to register.
“The games are starting today and I hope that everyone shows their support to transplant athletes by coming along to the sporting events, but most importantly show their support to organ donation. Don’t leave it for another day; we know that people are still dying while waiting for organs so we are encouraging those who have not already done so to sign up today and, crucially, to let their family and friends know about their wishes.”
Health Minister Edwin Poots said: "This announcement is excellent news. It shows that more than half a million generous people in Northern Ireland are prepared to give the gift of life to others who desperately need a life-saving transplant.
"However, we must not become complacent and more needs to be done. 15 people in Northern Ireland die each year while waiting for an organ and we must do everything we can do reduce this number.
"I would like to encourage anyone who has not yet signed the Organ Donor Register to do so today, and discuss their wishes with their family and friends."
Contact the PHA Press Office, Ormeau Avenue, on 028 9031 1611
Information on Transplant Sport and the Westfield Health British Transplant Games and be found at;
Notes to the editor
1. You can join the NHS Organ Donor Register by:
- Filling in a form online at: www.organdonation.nhs.uk
- Calling the NHS Donor Line on 0300 123 23 23 (lines are open 24 hours a day)
- Texting SAVE to 84118
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)
Leaflets are also displayed in GP surgeries, libraries and many hospitals and pharmacies.
2. The NHS Organ Donor Register records the details of people who have registered their wish 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.
3. Final consent is taken from the next of kin, so it is vital that you discuss your wishes with them now.