NHS BLood and Transplant are urging people to talk to their families about organ donation to increase the number of people whose lives can be saved by an organ donation.
Last year, 58 people in Bedfordshire had their lives saved by a transplant. If more people agreed to donate, more lives would be saved in Bedfordshire and around the country.
Next year, the law around organ donation is changing in England. From spring 2020, all adults in England will be considered as having agreed to donate their own organs when they die unless they record a decision not to donate or are in one of the excluded groups.
In the lead up to the change in law, NHS Blood and Transplant is urging families across England to talk about their organ donation decision, with the campaign message ‘Pass it on’.
Even after the law has changed, families will continue to be approached before organ donation goes ahead. Knowing what their relative wanted, helps families support their decision at a difficult time.
A recent survey of adults in England for NHS Blood and Transplant found that while 84% agreed it was important to let those closest to you know your views on organ donation, only 40% had shared their organ donation decision with their family or partner.
More families in Bedfordshire are saying yes to organ donation but there is still an urgent shortage of donors, NHS Blood and Transplant is asking people to tell their families they want to donate to help make sure more lives are saved.
Anthony Clarkson, Director of Organ Donation and Transplantation for NHS Blood and Transplant, said: “We need more people in Bedfordshire to talk about organ donation to increase the number of lifesaving transplants.
““Even after the law around organ donation changes next year, families will still be approached before organ donation goes ahead. So it remains so important to talk to your families about your views.
“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.