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Appeal to Northern Ireland during National Transplant Week


Public Health Agency

Type: News
Region: Republic of Ireland
Northern Ireland

There are currently around 200 people in Northern Ireland on the waiting list for a transplant and 16 people in Northern Ireland died due to the shortage of organs in the last year*. NHS Blood and Transplant is highlighting the figures to encourage people to pass on their donation wishes to their loved ones during National Transplant Week 2013 (8th-14th July).This year's theme is Pass It On, stressing the importance of having a conversation about organ donation as well as joining the NHS Organ Donor Register.To encourage people, some of the UK's best known communicators are showing the public how important and easy it is to do. David Harewood, Kay Burley and Wil Johnson feature in a series of short, memorable films which inspire people to have a conversation about organ donation with their loved ones. Also supporting the campaign is Richard Branson, whose film highlights the need for people to sign up to the NHS Organ Donor Register. NHS Blood and Transplant is encouraging people in Northern Ireland to watch the films at and talk to those closest to them about their donation wishes and sign up to the Organ Donor Register.  While 95% of families agree to donation if a loved one has discussed their wishes and is registered on the Organ Donor Register, this drops to only 46% when donation wishes aren't known.As well as signing up to the NHS Organ Donor Register, it is vital people let those closest to them know that they want to be an organ donor. Sally Johnson, Director of Organ Donation and Transplantation for NHS Blood and Transplant said:"Since April, 23 people living in Northern Ireland have benefited from a life-saving transplant**."To help more people we need everyone, including the 557,439  people on the NHS Organ Donor Register in Northern Ireland, to talk to their loved ones about their donation wishes***."We need a transformation in donor and family consent to organ donation because the UK's family refusal rate remains one of the highest in Europe."For this year's National Transplant Week, we hope the people of Northern Ireland will Pass It On, we want everyone to be proud of our donation record in the UK."Dr Eddie Rooney, Chief Executive of the Public Health Agency and Chair of the Northern Ireland Committee for Organ Donation and Transplantation, said: "The PHA is encouraging everyone in Northern Ireland to sign the NHS Organ Donor Register and give the 'Gift of Life'. We know that around 200 people are currently waiting for a transplant in Northern Ireland and sadly the chance will come too late for many."Together we can change this and save lives by ensuring more donations can take place. The PHA is appealing for everyone who has not yet discussed their wishes with loved ones and signed the NHS Organ Donor Register to do so today, it is one of the most generous things a human being can do to help others."Please take the time to fill in a form online at,  alternatively text DONATE to 62323 or call the NHS Donor line on 0300 123 23 23. It is important that you discuss your wishes with the people closest to you so that, if the time ever comes, they will find it easier to carry out your wishes."Edwin Poots, Minister for Health in Northern Ireland said: "Views on organ donation are personal and emotive. However the fact remains that, despite the great improvements in donation over recent years, people are still dying whilst waiting on a transplant."I recently announced my intention to establish public attitudes towards organ donation and this work is now underway. Once the outcome of this work is known, which is expected to be later this year, I will decide on the next steps to increase organ donation in Northern Ireland."In the meantime, we all have the opportunity to help others in need and save lives by discussing your wish to donate an organ with family and friends and by joining the Organ Donor Register."Besides having the donation conversation, signing up to the NHS Organ Donor Register remains important. Joining is quick and easy - to register visit, call 0300 123 2323 or text DONATE to 62323.





Rights: Public
Suggested citation:

Public Health Agency. (2013) Appeal to Northern Ireland during National Transplant Week [Online]. Available from: [Accessed: 20th June 2019].


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