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Northamptonshire families urged to talk about organ donation

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During Organ Donation Week, September 7 to 13, NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) and Northampton General Hospital are urging people to talk to their families about organ donation and increase the number of people whose lives can be saved or transformed through organ transplant.

From 20th May this year, the law around organ donation changed in England. 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 you still have a choice and family members will still be consulted before organ donation goes ahead.

This week, doctors and specialist nurses at Northampton General will be lighting the Lift Tower in Northampton with pink lights and messages about organ donation from 7th -9th September to encourage families to talk about their organ donation decision.

Pete Braithwaite, Specialist Nurse in Organ Donation explained the importance of having conversations with loved ones “One of the key things we want to tell people is that the choice is still theirs. We want this week to inspire people to think about and discuss their choices with their loved ones. We don’t mind what your decision is, it will always be respected. Whether you register online, talk to your GP, write a note or more importantly have a conversation with your loved ones, making your wishes known is so important.

While most people agree that it is important to talk to their family about organ donation, it is less likely that they will have actually had this important conversation. Sadly, many opportunities are lost every year because families don’t know if their loved one wanted to be a donor or not. Please don’t wait. Speak to your family about organ donation today”.

Knowing what their loved ones would want helps families support their decision around organ donation at what is an extremely difficult time. We desperately need more people in Northamptonshire to talk about organ donation to increase the number of lifesaving transplants.

These conversations are especially important for local residents from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) backgrounds. People from these communities are more likely to need a transplant, however, often wait longer as the best match will often come from someone of the same ethnicity.

Anthony Clarkson, Director of Organ Donation and Transplantation for NHS Blood and Transplant said: “We are very grateful to Northampton General Hospital 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 would 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 with nurses or medical teams much easier if they already know what their relative wanted.”

Find out more and register your decision by visiting NHS Organ Donor Register at www.organdonation.nhs.uk and share your decision with your family.

Posted on Monday 7th September 2020
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