Batley & Spen MP Tracy Brabin has issued an appeal to her constituents to talk about organ donation.
31,755 people in Batley & Spen are on the NHS Organ Donor Register but hundreds of lifesaving transplants are being missed around the country every year because families don’t know about their relatives’ wishes.
During Organ Donation Week which took place last week, NHS Blood and Transplant, hospitals, charities and supporters of organ donation sought to encourage people across the UK to talk about organ donation with their relatives and friends.
Tracy Brabin MP attended a Parliamentary event hosted by NHS Blood and Transplant and Kidney Care UK, where she met inspirational people including the families of organ donors, and recipients. She also met Consultant Surgeon Dr Niaz Ahmed, who performed the transplant procedure on Britain’s youngest organ donor, newborn Teddy Houlston who donated at St James’ Hospital in Leeds and went on to save the lives of others.
Families who agree to donate say it helps with their grief and that they feel an enormous sense of pride at knowing their relative gave others the chance of a new beginning.
There is a particular need for more Black and Asian people to talk about donation. Patients from ethnic minority communities make up 29% of the national transplant waiting list but people from these communities 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.
Labour MP Geoffrey Robinson has tabled a Private Members Bill which would provide for a move to a presumed consent system for organ donation in England, meaning that people would need to opt out, rather than opt in. The Batley & Spen MP has signalled her support in principle for the Bill, which is expected to have its Second Reading in February 2018.
This news follows Tracy Brabin’s recent work to encourage local people to become blood donors.
MP for Batley and Spen and Shadow Minister for Early Years, Tracy Brabin said;
“I’m proud to support this lifesaving appeal and I encourage everyone in Batley & Spen who haven’t done so already, to consider becoming an organ donor.
“Having attended the Parliamentary event on Organ Donation, I have seen for myself the lifesaving effect of being an organ donor.
“If you want to be a donor, your family’s agreement is still needed for donation to go ahead, even if you are on the NHS Organ Donor Register. That’s why it’s important to chat to your family about your wishes.”
Anthony Clarkson, Assistant Director of Organ Donation and Transplantation at NHS Blood and Transplant, said;
“We are really grateful for Tracy Brabin’s 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.
“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?”
Fiona Loud, Policy Director of Kidney Care UK, commented;
“At least one person dies every single day whilst waiting for a kidney transplant and of the 13 people on the waiting list in Batley & Spen, around 90% of them are waiting for a kidney. You are more likely to need a transplant than to be a donor so please, this Organ Donation Week, just take a few minutes to have a think about what you would do if you needed a transplant, and have that life-saving chat with your family so they know your wishes.”