Families continue to save lives through organ donation at NNUH
New figures out today reveal there were 19 deceased organ donors at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital last year, helping save or improve the lives of people desperately in need of a transplant in the UK.
NHS Blood and Transplant have released the figures to mark the publication of the annual Transplant Activity Report and NNUH was one of the top 20 donor hospitals in England last year.
The report reveals a steady increase in support for organ donation around the country, with 69% of families giving their consent when asked about organ donation.
The annual report shows deceased organ donation fell last year due to the pandemic where Covid-19 had a wide-reaching impact across the whole NHS and every aspect of UK society.
Despite this, 1,180 people in the UK donated their organs after they died, saving or improving the lives of 3,391 transplant recipients and giving hope to the thousands of patients still waiting.
Dr Tim Leary, Chief of Surgery at NNUH and Regional Clinical Lead for Organ Donation, said: “We need more people in the Norfolk area to talk about organ donation to increase the number of lifesaving transplants.
“While most people agree that it is important to talk to their family about organ donation, it is less likely that they will have actually had this important conversation. Please tell your family that you want to support donation. Letting your family know that you want to save lives will make it much easier if there comes a time when organ donation is a possibility.”
The law around organ donation in England changed to an opt out system in May last year, and it is hoped public support for organ donation will continue to build.
Organ donation remains a most precious gift. Adults covered by the new law change still have a choice about whether or not they want to donate, and families are still involved before organ donation goes ahead.
John Forsythe, Medical Director of Organ and Tissue Donation and Transplantation, at NHS Blood and Transplant, said:
“This past year has been completely unprecedented in the history of the NHS, as well as in our wider society. So, the fact that we managed to maintain three quarters of our normal donation and transplantation activity across the UK is absolutely phenomenal.
“There’s no escaping the fact that organ donation and transplantation will take some time to recover completely, as will the rest of the NHS. But each one of us in the wider clinical team of donation and transplantation, across the UK, are immensely proud of the work to keep organ donation and transplants happening in the most challenging circumstances. But our commitment is nothing compared with donors and their families – the gift of life has been donated in the midst of a tragedy made even more difficult by Covid restrictions.”
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.