Potential organ donors urged to save a life in South Yorkshire

Emergency patients had the worst winter on record for being admitted to NHS hospitals in England.
Emergency patients had the worst winter on record for being admitted to NHS hospitals in England.

The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust has teamed up with NHS Blood and Transplant to ask potential organ donors in Rotherham: If you could save a life would you?

The organisations are asking people the question as they launch an organ donation campaign in Rotherham to encourage more people to sign the Organ Donation Register.

There are 19 people in Rotherham waiting for a transplant now, of whom all but one are waiting for a kidney transplant. They need people to say yes to organ donation so they can get the organ transplant they need.

In the last five years 15 people in Rotherham became lifesavers by donating their organs. During the same period, 44 have had their lives saved or transformed thanks to deceased organ donors from across the UK. Sadly though, eight people have died without receiving the transplant they desperately needed.

Figures show that eight in 10 of us agree it’s important to tell those closest to us our views about organ donation after death, but only a third say their family knows their wishes about organ donation.* 

Joanne Cheetham, Specialist Nurse for Organ Donation at Rotherham Hospital, said: “Organ donation saves lives and one organ donor can save or transform up to nine lives and even more by donating tissue as well. I know that more families agree to donation if they know their loved one was on the Organ Donor Register. Save your family from having to guess what you would have wanted. Join the NHS Organ Donor Register and let your family know your decision. One day it could be someone you love in need of a transplant.”

If you die in circumstances which mean you can donate, information and support from your family is essential. Families are much more likely to support donation when they know their relative had joined the NHS Organ Donor Register and wanted to be an organ donor. There are 48,709 people in Rotherham on the Organ Donor Register. Why don’t you join them and let your family know that’s what you want.

Figures also show that 35 per cent of people in England are currently on the NHS Organ Donor Register. While we encourage everyone to sign up as donors and have the conversation, there is a particular need to encourage more black and Asian families to talk about organ donation and become donors. In 2015/16, only five per cent of all deceased donors came from a black and minority ethnic background. Families from these communities are more likely to refuse to go ahead with donation than white families.

This is a particular concern, as people from black and Asian communities have a higher incidence of conditions such as diabetes and certain forms of hepatitis. These conditions make them more likely to need a transplant and for many the best, or only, match would be from someone from the same ethnic background.

Sign up today at Click here and let your friends and family know you want to help others after your death. In the last year over 2,300 people joined the NHS Organ Donor Register in Rotherham.