The NHS is appealing to people in West Sussex to have a conversation about organ donation with their loved ones during for National Transplant Week 2013 (July 8-14).
This year’s NHS Blood and Transplant campaign, themed Pass it On, is supported by some of the UK’s best known communicators.
David Harewood, Kay Burley and Wil Johnson will feature in short films emphasising the importance and simplicity of joining the NHS Organ Donor Register.
Richard Branson is also supporting the campaign with a film highlighting the need for organ donation to the public.
NHS Blood and Transplant is encouraging people in West Sussex to watch the films at www.youtube.com/transplantweek.
While 95% of families agree to donation if a loved one has discussed their preferences and is registered on the Organ Donor Register, this drops to 46% when they are not known.
Across the county, there are 114 people waiting for a transplant and 27 residents have died due to a shortage of organs in the last four years.
Sally Johnson, Director of Organ Donation and Transplantation for NHS Blood and Transplant said: “Since April, 13 people living in West Sussex have benefitted from a life-saving transplant.
“To help more people we need everyone, including the 272,234 people on the NHS Organ Donor Register in West Sussex, to talk to their loved ones about their donation wishes.
“We need a transformation in donor and family consent to organ donation because the UK’s family refusal rate remains one of the highest in Europe.
“For this year’s National Transplant Week, we hope the people of West Sussex will Pass It On, we want everyone to be proud of our donation record in the UK.”
To join the NHS Organ Donor Register visit www.transplantweek.co.uk, call 0300 123 2323 or text DONATE to 62323.
For further information about National Transplant Week, including information about local events and how to support the campaign, go to www.transplantweek.co.uk, join the NHS Organ Donation Campaign on Facebook, and follow @NHSOrganDonor and #passiton on Twitter.