Local MPs Join Forces To Support Organ Donation Week

Justin Tomlinson MP and Robert Buckland MP are proudly supporting Organ Donation Week and an appeal for their constituents to talk about organ donation.

82,686 people in Swindon are on the NHS Organ Donor Register but Hundreds of lifesaving transplants are being missed around the country every year because families don’t know what their relative wanted.

During the week, NHS Blood and Transplant, hospitals, charities and supporters of organ donation are encouraging people across the UK to talk about organ donation with their relatives and friends. Families who agree to donate say it helps with their grief and that they feel enormous sense of pride at knowing their relative gave others the chance of a new beginning.

There is a particular need for more black and Asian people to talk about donation. Patients from ethnic minority communities make up 29% of the national transplant waiting list but people from these communities are less likely to agree to donate. Organs from people from the same ethnic background are more likely to be a close match and give the best chance of a positive outcome.

Justin Tomlinson MP said: “If you want to be a donor, your family’s agreement is still needed for donation to go ahead, even if you are on the NHS Organ Donor Register. It is worth having a chat next time you sit down for a meal, when you are shopping or working, or when you are just driving in the car.”

Robert Buckland MP said: “I’m proud to support this lifesaving appeal and it’s really easy for everyone to take part – just have a chat.”

Fiona Loud, Policy Director of Kidney Care UK, commented: “At least one person dies every single day whilst waiting for a kidney transplant and of the 82,686 people on the waiting list in Swindon, around 90% of them are waiting for a kidney. You are more likely to need a transplant than to be a donor so please, this Organ Donation Week, just take a few minutes to have a think about what you would do if you needed a transplant, and have that life-saving chat with your family so they know your wishes.”

Anthony Clarkson, Assistant Director of Organ Donation and Transplantation at NHS Blood and Transplant, said: “We are really grateful to both Justin and Robert for their support because hundreds of lives are being lost every year. This Organ Donation Week, tell your family you want to save lives.  A few words now can make an extraordinary difference. If you are unsure about donation, please ask yourselves as a family; what would you do if one of you needed a transplant?  Would you accept a life-saving organ? If you’d take an organ, shouldn’t you be prepared to donate?”