NHS in Wiltshire asking people to talk of organ donation

This Is Wiltshire: Dr Malcolm Watters and specialist nurse Allison Salmon are in charge of organ donation at the Great Western Hospital Dr Malcolm Watters and specialist nurse Allison Salmon are in charge of organ donation at the Great Western Hospital

EIGHTY-EIGHT people in Wiltshire are waiting for a transplant this Christmas and 21 people have died in the county in the past five years due to a shortage of organs.

NHS Blood and Transplant is highlighting the figures as it asks people to talk to their families over the festive period about their decision to be an organ donor.

NHS Blood and Transplant has also released the results of a survey showing that only one in 20 people in England and Wales who are spending time with family at Christmas will be discussing organ donation.

And 83 per cent of people in England and Wales said they would be spending Christmas with family this year but family chats about holidays and the weather are much more likely to take place than about organ donation.

Anthony Clarkson, acting director of organ donation and transplantation at NHS Blood and Transplant, said: “Don’t miss the opportunity to discuss organ donation when you’re with your family this Christmas.

“We know that Christmas is a time for enjoying ourselves and talking about the nice things in life like future holidays.

“But for people in need of an organ, Christmas is a very difficult time so we are urging everybody to talk about organ donation.

“Fifteen people in Wiltshire have received a life-saving organ transplant from a deceased donor this year.

“To help save more people we need everyone, including the 252,095 people on the NHS Organ Donor Register in Wiltshire, to talk to their loved ones about their donation decision.”

Dr Malcolm Watters became the clinical lead for organ donation at GWH four years ago.

He said: “It is a sensitive issue. Having the conversation is the most important thing.

“A lot of the time people have told their family members that they want to donate their organs but they haven’t actually signed the register, so that can make things a bit easier – the conversation is the most important thing.

“What we do know is that for the families that say no to organ donation, one in three will go on to regret that decision – it is such an emotionally charged time so we have to be prepared so that we can help support the family.”

NHS Blood and Transplant is asking people to tell their families this Christmas that they want to donate their organs, and to record their decision by joining the NHS Organ Donor Register.

To join the NHS Organ Donor Register, visit www.organdona tion.nhs.uk or call 0300 123 23 23.

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