In honour of organ donors, their recipients and those waiting for a lifesaving transplant, this Organ Donation Week (20th to 26th September 2021) staff at East Cheshire came together to participate in the North West Organ Donation ‘Race for Recipients’ challenge to raise awareness of this year’s national ‘Leave them Certain’ campaign.
Covering a grand total of 719.44 miles, the team, which consisted of 29 staff walked, ran, cycled and rowed tirelessly with the aim of achieving a target of 7,000 miles - a mile for each person in the UK who is currently waiting for a lifesaving transplant.
Anne Williams, Critical Care Research Facilitator at East Cheshire said, “This Organ Donation Week, we are calling on people to talk to their families about organ donation and leave them certain about their decision.
“A significant number of people in East Cheshire are already on the NHS Organ Donor Register. However, people need to tell their family to help ensure their family supports their decision if they are approached about organ donation by a specialist nurse in hospital.
“The Race for Recipients challenge was a fantastic way to raise awareness and encourage people to make their decision regarding organ donation and share this with their loved ones.”
The law around organ donation changed in England in May 2020 and 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, relatives will still always be consulted before organ donation goes ahead and each year, opportunities for transplants are missed because families aren't sure what to do.
This year, organ donation has also been added to the National Curriculum for the first time, so family members, whatever their age, are being encouraged to get together to talk about their own organ donation decisions.
Dr John Hunter, Medical Director at East Cheshire NHS Trust said: “Knowing what your relative wanted, helps families support their decision around organ donation at what is often a difficult time. We need more people in East Cheshire to talk with their loved ones about organ donation to give them the certainty they need to support their organ donation decision.”
“These conversations are especially important for local residents from Black and Asian backgrounds. People from these communities are more likely to need a transplant, however, often wait longer as the best chance of a match will often come from someone of the same ethnicity. Your loved ones will still always be consulted before organ donation goes ahead, so please do speak to your family about organ donation and let them know your decision today.” said Dr Hunter.
Anthony Clarkson, Director of Organ and Tissue Donation and Transplantation for NHS Blood and Transplant said: “We are very grateful to East Cheshire NHS Trust 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 much easier if they already know what their relative wanted.”
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.
- For further information about East Cheshire NHS Trust please visit: http://www.eastcheshire.nhs.uk/ or contact the trust press office on 01625 663935. For urgent, out-of-hours enquiries, please call 01625 421000.
- East Cheshire NHS Trust is the main provider of acute and community health services for the people of East Cheshire. The trust is based at Macclesfield District General Hospital.
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