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‘It could be the difference between life and death’ - Public urged to talk about organ donation ahead of national awareness week

PUBLISHED: 17:43 29 August 2018 | UPDATED: 17:43 29 August 2018

Dr Liam Stevens. Picture: Courtesy of CCG.

Dr Liam Stevens. Picture: Courtesy of CCG.

Archant

People living in Waveney and Norfolk are being urged to help save lives by talking to their families about organ donation ahead of a national awareness week.

NHS Great Yarmouth and Waveney CCG have issued a rallying cry to residents ahead of Organ Donation Week – which takes place between Monday, September 3 and Sunday, September 9.

It comes as part of a national campaign called ‘Words Save Lives’, which is asking people to talk to their families about organ donation so that they are aware of their wishes.

This will in turn increase the number of people whose lives can be saved or transformed by a transplant.

Dr Liam Stevens, a GP and chairman of NHS Great Yarmouth and Waveney CCG, said: “We want more people in Norfolk and Waveney to talk about organ donation so that their loved ones are aware of their wishes.

“That way, we can increase the number of lifesaving transplants which take place every year.”

He added: Only one-third of adults in England have told their partner or their family they want to donate, despite eight out of 10 people telling us they would be willing to donate or would consider it.

“Sadly, many opportunities are lost every year because families don’t know if their loved one wanted to be a donor or not.

“We can change things, though we need your support to get people talking.”

Nationally three people die every day waiting for an organ, while there around 55 patients in Norfolk and Waveney on the transplant waiting list.

And nearly 425,000 people in the area are on the NHS Organ Donor Register but families will always be approached about donation.

Anthony Clarkson, interim director of organ donation and transplantation for NHS Blood and Transplant, believes change is possible if people talk.

He said: “We are very grateful to the CCGs in Norfolk and Waveney for their support during organ donation week.

“Words save lives. Please, tell your family you want to save lives through organ donation, because it could be the difference between life and death for someone else.”

To join the Organ Donor Register visit: www.organdonation.nhs.uk

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