10,000 more organ donors in Blackpool

Blackpool's organ donor register has grown by almost 10,000 in just five years, new figures have revealed.

Tuesday, 11th July 2017, 12:10 pm
Updated Tuesday, 18th July 2017, 8:31 am
Stock image

It comes as the number of resort patients being given potentially life-saving transplants also rose, from seven to 11.

“More people than ever in Lancashire are committing to organ donation and that is saving more lives than ever,” NHS Blood and Transplant’s Sally Johnson said.

“It’s amazing to picture all the people now alive today thanks to organ donation, and think of all the families and children who have grown up thanks to donors.”

Sign up to our public interest bulletins - get the latest news on the Coronavirus

Sign up to our public interest bulletins - get the latest news on the Coronavirus

In March 2011/12, there were 37,165 people in Blackpool on the NHS Organ Donor Register, compared to 46,679 as of this March.

And health bosses estimate there are more than 1,000 people now alive in the county thanks to organ donations.

But more needs to be done, with a national shortage of donors meaning three people die every day in desperate need of a transplant.

The waiting list is around 6,400 people long, with a particular need for black and Asian people donors.

“Every one of those people who died could be a mother or a father, a daughter or a son, who might be alive today,” Ms Johnson said.

“Families tell us donation is a source of pride that helps them in their grieving process.

“We don’t want anyone in Lancashire to miss the opportunity to save lives through organ donation.”

The NHS’s latest organ transplantation review, which admits ‘the NHS does not support some people who want to donate and more can be done to ensure that donated organs are used’, said the ‘excellent progress’ of the last five years must now be built on.

By 2020, it hopes ‘society will expect that donation will be the natural outcome for individuals who die in circumstances where donation is a possibility’.

Around half a million people die in the UK every year, though ‘very few’ do so in circumstances that allow for transplants, the report said.

And despite the rise in donors, the rate at which families consent on their behalf remains at around six in 10.

“We know the consent rate is higher when the potential donor’s decision to donate is known to their family,” the report added.

“In 2015/16, almost nine out of 10 families agreed to donation when the patient’s decision to donate was known at the time.”