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Press Release

Leicester’s Hospitals asking families to have a lifesaving talk during Organ Donation Week
Press release date07/09/2017
Leicester’s Hospitals is proudly supporting Organ Donation Week with an appeal for staff, patients and their friends and families to talk about organ donation. Our specialist nurses are also taking a life-size version of the board game Operation to the Highcross Shopping Centre on Saturday 9 September.
Press release

Over the last year 289 people in East midlands have received lifesaving or life changing transplants (of which 81 were in Leicestershire). However hundreds of transplants are being missed around the country every year because families don’t know what their relative wanted.

During the week (September 4 to 10), 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. This way, if you are ever able to be an organ donor, your family won’t be left with making a difficult decision without knowing what you wanted.

NHS Blood and Transplant surveys show more than 80% of people support organ donation but only around 49% of people have ever talked about it. Research shows that women are 30% more likely to start a conversation about organ donation than men. (1)

Operation Donation: 

On 9 September we are delighted to announce that we have teamed up with the national NHS Blood and Transplant team to bring a life-size version of the board game ‘Operation’ to visit the Highcross Shopping Centre in Leicester from 9am-5pm. It’s open to all, so why not come and have a go and see if you can top the Leicester leader board and prove that you could be the quickest ‘surgeon’ in Leicester.

Sabina Hardman, Specialist Nurse for Organ Donation at Leicester’s Hospitals, said: “We’re proud to support this lifesaving appeal and it’s really easy for everyone to take part – just have a chat.

“That chat might be the next time you sit down for a meal, when you are shopping or working, or when you are just driving in the car. If you want to be a donor, your family’s support is still needed for donation to go ahead, even if you are on the NHS Organ Donor Register.

“We are also really excited to have the board game visit the Highcross this year. Last year it was extremely popular when it visited the Leicester Royal Infirmary with 100 staff, patients and visitors signing up. It is really eye-catching and a great talking point for people to start having conversations about organ donation.”

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.

Anthony Clarkson, Assistant Director of Organ Donation and Transplantation at NHS Blood and Transplant, said: “We are really grateful for Leicester’s Hospitals’ 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. It will also make things much easier for your family to make the right decision.

“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?”

There is a particular need for more black and Asian people to talk about donation. Patients from these communities make up 29% of the national transplant waiting list but they 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.


Press release notes

(1)NHSBT carries out biannual attitudinal surveys. The fourth wave in 2017, involved 1499 interviews carried out via online self-completion between the 10th and 21st of April 2017. In this wave, 81% of people supported organ donation in principle. NHSBT also commissioned research specifically on organ donation conversations. The quantitative element comprised a survey of 2656 adults aged 18 years or above in England carried out online by YouGov from 15th to 19th May.  49% of people had had a conversation with a partner or family member about organ donation. Asked who would initiate a conversation about organ donation, 57% of women said they would expect themselves to do it, and 44% of men said they would expect themselves to do it.

Notes to editors

•NHS Blood and Transplant is a joint England and Wales Special Health Authority. We are responsible for ensuring a safe and efficient supply of blood and associated services to the NHS in England. We are also the organ donation organisation for the UK and are responsible for matching and allocating donated organs.

Contact information:
Contact information
For additional information contact Paul Millington – Communications Officer, 0116 258 8715, paul.millington@uhl-tr.nhs.uk

Alternatively call the NHSBT Press Office on 01923 367 600 or email pressoffice@nhsbt.nhs.uk
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