Pictured is Nigel with Fiona Loud, Director of Policy at Kidney Care
This organ donation week (16 September to 24 September) Member of Parliament for the Ribble Valley and Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons Nigel Evans is encouraging his constituents to think about organ donation.
Currently across the country people die every day on the waiting list for an organ transplant. That waiting list is at a nine year high. There are currently 7183 patients waiting for a transplant (as of 31 August 2023) with over 80 percent of these patients waiting for a kidney.
The long waiting times mean that people get sicker and are suspended or removed from the active waiting list. According to the annual Transplant Activity report (2022/2023) 429 people died on the waiting list last year, a further 732 people died after being suspended.
Whilst the UK has now switched to an opt-out system of organ donation consent is still needed from immediate family. The consent rates for organ donation fell again last year from 66% to 62%. The main reason given as to why families did not support organ donation is because their loved one had previously expressed a wish not to donate.
Overall last year, 1,130 families declined support for organ donation after losing a loved one. The more people who sign the NHS Organ Donor Register and tell their families of their decision to be a donor, the more families will support that decision and the more lives will be saved.
Ahead of Organ Donation Week Nigel met with representatives from Kidney Care UK and NHS Blood and Transport to discuss what more can be done to help those on the waiting list get their transplant quicker.
Nigel Evans said:
“Here in the UK, we have some of the best transplant technology in the world and many of the best surgeons to make use of it. However, this is useless if there aren’t the levels of organ donations required to help those in need.
“Donating an organ is perhaps the most important thing a person can do, and I would encourage everyone to register their intentions on the organ donor register and have those conversations with their family to make sure those intentions are known.”
You can register your decision on the organ donor register at: https://www.organdonation.nhs.uk/register-your-decision/