THE chief executive of Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust has spoken of the importance of organ donation in this, Organ Donor Week.
Matthew Hopkins received his second kidney – from a living donor – last year.
In a video released by the Trust, which runs the Alexandra Hospital in Redditch and Worcestershire Royal Hospital in Worcester as well as the Kidderminster Treatment Centre, describes organ donation as ‘the gift of life’.
In the video he describes the change in the law to the presumption to donate as ‘absolutely the right step forward’ before adding ‘but the next step has to be telling your loved ones, so having that conversation is absolutely crucial’.
Last year, 29 people in Worcestershire had their lives saved by having an organ transplant.
NHS Blood and Transplant says if more people agreed to donate, more lives would be saved and not just in Worcestershire but around the country.
However it says it is important people know they still have a choice should the worst happen, and family members will still be consulted before any organ donation goes ahead.
The belief is that families are more likely to support an organ donation decision, if they already know what people want to happen.
More and more families in Worcestershire are saying yes to organ donation but there is still an urgent shortage of donors.
Anthony Clarkson, director of organ donation and transplantation said: “We need more people to talk about organ donation to increase the number of lifesaving transplants.
“Even now the law has changed, families will still be approached before organ donation goes ahead. So it remains so important to talk to your families and make sure they know what you 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 with nurses or medical teams much easier if they already know what their relative wanted.”
To find out more visit www.organdonation.nhs.uk.