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NHS staff organs for transplants website launched

Organ donation is the gift of an organ to help someone who needs a life-saving transplant. Kidneys, heart, liver, lungs, pancreas and the small bowel can all be transplanted. Tissues can also be donated; this includes corneas, skin, bone, tendons, cartilage, and heart valves. There is a serious shortage of organs and up to 3 people a day die in the UK, each year waiting for an organ. Many people have not recorded their wishes about donation and too few people have joined the NHS Organ Donor Register and discussed their wishes with their families. We believe that within the NHS more than 70% of staff are prepared to be an organ donor, but less than a third of this number have actually added their name to the NHS Organ Donor Register.

The NHS staff organs for transplants website has now been launched. This website is meant for NHS staff who may be undecided about whether they wish to be an organ donor. It can be found at:

http://www.westmidlands.nhs.uk/MultiProfessionalWorkforce/OrgansforTransplant.aspx

The website includes some FAQs and a link to the Organ Donor Register.

The NHS Organ Donor Register is a confidential, computerised database which holds the wishes of more than 16 million people who have decided that they wish to be an organ donor. When you add your name to the register you can select what you are prepared to donate and what you are not. Even if you carry an organ donor card you are still encouraged to add your name to the register. Adding your name to the register is a more permanent way of expressing your wishes and importantly, this database is accessed by Specialist Nurses for Organ Donation to inform next of kin of these wishes.

Everyone irrespective of age or health and who is considered legally competent can join the NHS Organ Donor Register. Most people will be able to donate something. Having a medical condition does not necessarily prevent a person from becoming an organ or tissue donor. The decision about whether some or all organs or tissue are suitable for transplant is made by healthcare professionals, taking into account your medical history.

You can add your name to the NHS Organ Donor register by going online at www.organdonation.nhs.uk/register or calling the Organ Donor Line on 0300 123 2323.