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Media Release

Date: 26 September 2022

RUH calls on people to register their decision to give the Gift of Life this Organ Donation Week

This week (26 September to 2 October) is Organ Donation Week and the Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust, working alongside NHS Blood and Transplant, is calling on local people to register their donation decision and talk to their families about organ donation. More than 6,500 people are actively waiting for a transplant across the UK.

Around 46,000 people in the Bath area have already declared their decision through the NHS Organ Donor Register. However, people need to tell their family to help ensure they support their decision if they are approached about organ donation by a specialist nurse in hospital. When a family are approached, 9 out of 10 families will agree to donation if they know their family member was on the Organ Donor Register and talked about their decision.

The RUH works in partnership with NHS Blood and Transplant, Tissue and Eye Services as a key donation site, aiming to offer the option of tissue donation to bereaved families as part of normal end of life practice. One tissue donor can potentially help up to 50 individuals.

The RUH is recognised as one of the best hospitals in the country for supporting organ donations and last year 17 people received life-saving or life-changing transplants as a result.

This means it is still just as important as ever to register your decision on the NHS Organ Donor Register and ensure your friends and family know what you want.

Alison Ryan, Chair at the RUH, said: “Knowing what your relative wanted helps families support their decision around organ donation at what is often a difficult time. Families of donors often comment afterwards that knowing the good that has resulted from the generosity of the donors is a really positive thing which helps them through their own grief and bereavement.

“We need more people in BaNES and Somerset to register their decision and talk with their loved ones about organ donation to give them the certainty they need to support their organ donation decision.

“My late husband was given 18 years of life because of the generosity of an organ donation and I know the real difference it makes and the deep feelings of gratitude and respect for the donor which lives in the recipients’ families forever.”

Joanne Pattemore, RUH Specialist Nurse for Organ Donation, said: "We need more people in Bath and the surrounding areas to talk about organ donation to increase the number of life-saving transplants.

"Your loved ones will still always be consulted before organ donation goes ahead. Please don't wait. Speak to your family about organ donation and let them know your decision today."

Anthony Clarkson, Director of Organ and Tissue Donation and Transplantation for NHS Blood and Transplant, said: “We are very grateful to the RUH for its support during Organ Donation Week.

“Every day across the UK there are thousands of patients and their families, waiting for that all important life-saving call. Yet, this is often only possible as a result of another family receiving some of the hardest news they might ever have to hear.

“With the increase in the number of people waiting for transplants, it’s more important than ever to register your organ donation decision and make it known to your family and friends. “We urge all family members of all ages to take a moment this Organ Donation Week to register and share your decision.”

To find out more and register your decision, visit the NHS Organ Donor Register at www.organdonation.nhs.uk and share your decision with your family. Users of the NHS app, can also use this to record, check or amend their details or decision.

ENDS

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