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Urgent appeal for more organ donors

PUBLISHED: 09:30 12 October 2009 | UPDATED: 14:37 06 July 2010

MORE organ donors are urgently needed in Suffolk - and people are being urged to make sure they have signed up to the life-saving scheme.

Donating an organ after death can save the life of another person but Britain has one of the worst organ donation rates in western Europe with only 27% of people having agreed to take part, though a new report shows the number is rising.

MORE organ donors are urgently needed in Suffolk - and people are being urged to make sure they have signed up to the life-saving scheme.

Donating an organ after death can save the life of another person but Britain has one of the worst organ donation rates in western Europe with only 27% of people having agreed to take part, though a new report shows the number is rising.

In the east of England, the number is slightly higher at 34%, but officials are launching a regional campaign to increase numbers.

Dr Paul Cosford, regional director of public health, said: “I am delighted that many more people are now donating their organs, which has helped to save hundreds of lives.

“We have made an excellent start, but there is still a long way to go.”

Keith Pearson, NHS East of England chairman, said donors also needed to ensure loved ones were aware of their wishes because this could make a big difference in encouraging others.

“The NHS in the east of England is playing a leading role in promoting the organ donor register and our region has an above average rate for organ donors,” he said.

“A recent study suggests that fewer than a third of possible organ donors actually donate their organs, with this falling to about one in five of potential donors in some areas.

“In the east of England the rate is slightly higher at 34.7% and we are determined to identify ways of improving this.

“We have just held a hugely successful event where staff working in trusts across the region made pledges to make a difference to organ donation where they work.”

More than 10,000 people in the UK need a transplant, with this figure rising by 8% every year last year 3,516 people received a life-changing organ transplant.

To become a donor people should sign up at www.organdonation.nhs.uk

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