Families continue to save and improve lives through organ donation at Northumbria Healthcare – Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust

These donations help to save or improve the lives of some of the 4,324 people desperately in need of a transplant in the UK.

NHS Blood and Transplant and Northumbria Healthcare have released the figures to mark the publication of the annual Organ Donation and Transplantation Activity Report.

The annual report shows deceased organ donation in the UK increased by 18% last year thanks to the continuing recovery of organ donation and transplant activity following the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic. In total, 1,397 people donated their organs after death last year, including seven at the Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital in Cramlington.

Despite this, the number of people being listed for a transplant has increased, due to most being suspended during the height of the pandemic and, subsequently, others needing a transplant being added to the list. There are currently 6,393 people on the active waiting list and a further 3,990 temporarily suspended.

Sonya Paterson, specialist nurse organ donation at Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Organ and tissue donation is an important end-of-life care choice and should be offered when appropriate. Families often say they get comfort and solace from their loved one going on to save or enhance the lives of others.

“Please register your organ donation decision and tell your family. Letting your family know what you want to happen when you die will make it much easier if there comes a time when organ donation is a possibility.”

Anthony Clarkson, director of organ and tissue donation and transplantation at NHS Blood and Transplant, added: “Organ donation and transplantation is a fundamental part of the NHS work to save lives. This is shown by the increase in the number of patients this year receiving transplants and the number of those who are continually registering their decision to be an organ donor.

“The fact that 1,397 people saved the lives of others last year through deceased organ donation is wonderful, especially given the fact that the number of families agreeing to donation when they were approached last year than fell by 3% on the year before. We still need families to support their loved one’s decision and agree to donation when approached if they know that’s what they wanted.

“We need to work to improve consent/authorisation rates by encouraging people to register their decision and discuss it with their families as organ donation really does save lives.”

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.

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