CWU's National Health, Safety & Environment Officer; Dave Joyce has written top all the Union's Branches advising of and providing details of the NHSBT (NHS Blood and Transplant) week of promoting organ donation.
In his letter to Branches (LTB379/21) he writes:
Once again this year the CWU will be supporting the NHSBT (NHS Blood and Transplant) National Organ Donation Week.
The aim of the week is to ensure that the overwhelming public support for organ donation continues to grow and the NHS has more organs made available for transplants, so saving more lives.
NHS Blood and Transplant supports any initiative which leads to more organ donors and more lives being saved.
The NHSBT National Organ Donation Week - 20th - 26th September provides an excellent opportunity to support the campaign to continue to build the national conversation, awareness and support for organ donation, helping to make it a normal and expected part of end of life care.
Every day the nation needs donors to help those in desperate need of a transplant. NHSBT see the CWU as a valued partner and they need our ongoing support to help us promote the positive nature of organ donation and to reiterate the message that we support organ donation and want more people to act today by joining the NHS Organ Donor Register and telling their family they want to donate. NHSBT know from those that have supported organ donation that these conversations make it easier for grieving families at a difficult time.
Further information is available at the following NHSBT Website link:
The Organ Donation Law Across The UK and Crown Dependencies:
Although the law on organ donation has changed in England, Scotland, Wales and Jersey plus it’s due to change in Northern Ireland, Guernsey and the Isle of Mann, individuals registering their wishes makes it easier for grieving families at a difficult time.
English organ donation law has changed. All adults in England are now considered to have agreed to be an organ donor when they die unless they have recorded a decision not to donate or are in one of the excluded groups.
The legislation for Wales is ‘deemed consent’. This means that if you haven’t registered an organ and tissue donation decision, you will be considered to have no objection to becoming a donor.
The current legislation for Northern Ireland is to opt in to organ and tissue donation; people can do this by joining the NHS Organ Donor Register and sharing the decision with their family. People can also record a decision not to be a donor. Following consideration of the issue, in 2020 the health minister announced his intention to pursue a change to an ‘opt-out system’ for organ donation, as is already seen in England, Scotland Wales and Jersey.
A public consultation demonstrated widespread support for an opt-out system and in July 2021 the Organ and Tissue Donation (Deemed Consent) Bill began the formal legislative process through the Northern Ireland Assembly. If the bill proceeds successfully through the required
stages, it is hoped it will receive Royal Assent before the end of the current government’s mandate in May 2022. At this point the bill would become an act but implementation of the new law would not take place until sometime later when public promotion and training have taken place.
In April 2018 the Jersey States Assembly passed legislation that saw the island move towards a deemed consent, ‘opt out’ system as in England, Scotland and Wales. The new legislation took effect on 1st July 2019.
Guernsey currently has an ‘opt in’ system for organ and tissue donation which requires people to join the NHS Organ Donor Register. However, Guernsey’s Human Tissue and Transplantation (Bailiwick of Guernsey) Legislation was enacted in May 2020, which will introduce a deemed consent ‘opt out’ system. The new law will not come in to force until an Ordinance has been passed, so the consent process in Guernsey remains one of ‘opt in’ for the time being.
Isle of Man
The current legislation in the Isle of Man is to ‘opt in’ to organ and tissue donation, by joining the NHS Organ Donor Register. However, In October 2020, Members of the House of Keys unanimously backed the Human Tissue and Organ Donation Bill 2020 which will change the system to ‘opt out’. The bill will now continue through the legislative processes before it can receive Royal Assent and be enacted.
NHSBT Organ Donation Week Campaign Guide:
For Organ Donation Week the NHSBT have said a key focus will be on paediatric donation and encouraging families to have the conversation and leave their loved ones certain about their organ donation wishes.
Further information can be found in the NHSBT Organ Donation Campaign Guide.
The guide includes:
· The recording of the NHSBT campaign briefing session
· Top tips on engaging with schools, including links to the resources and letter template
· How to get involved in the Heart Walk
· A guide for lighting up pink
· Key messages
· Resources – including how to create a QR code to measure your activity
The campaign guide is available at the following NHSBT Website link:
Other resources are also available on request.
NHSBT Organ and Tissue Donation and Transplantation Strategy (‘Organ Donation
and Transplantation 2030: Meeting the Need’)
Recently published by NHSBT is the new ten-year vision strategy for organ donation and transplantation in the United Kingdom. The Organ and Tissue Donation and Transplantation strategy combines the focus of previous strategies and sets out a ten-year vision for deceased and living donation and transplantation in the UK.
It outlines the key areas that need to be addressed as the UK continues to save and improve more lives through organ donation and transplantation after 2020. It also sets out the actions to support and maximise the potential for living donation, as well as focusing on areas for research and innovation.
The Strategy reports that the last decade has seen significant progress in organ donation and transplantation in the UK, during which deceased organ donation rates have increased by 56%. Through the selflessness of organ donors and their families, combined with the generosity of living donors 56,000 patients are currently alive with a functioning transplant.
These incredible achievements were made possible through the NHS and a commitment to deliver improvements.
There are still thousands on the transplant waiting list, and lives are lost every day, due to a lack of available organs. Organ Donation and Transplantation: Meeting the Need sets out the strategy for the next 10 years, to build on the successes of the past and deliver further improvements. The strategy will only be a success if it supports and benefits everyone in need of a transplant.
Whilst progress has been made, an unacceptably large number of people from a Black, Asian, Mixed Race and Minority Ethnic (BAME) background still spend far too long on the transplant waiting list because of a lack of suitable organs. The strategy aims to do more to engage with the diverse populations across the UK, empowering them to lead the promotion of living and deceased organ donation.
One of the key foundations for Meeting the Need is the strength of the public support for organ donation. To reflect this support, three of the Governments in the UK have already changed the law on consent or authorisation for deceased donation to one of ‘opt out’, rather than ‘opt in’.The fourth has recently consulted on the change. The anticipation is that these law
changes could lead to hundreds of additional lives saved or improved every year, through increasing the number of organs available for transplantation.
The challenge for the coming years is to make sure that the transplant service can keep pace with this increase. This strategy therefore sets out the aims to ensure that every organ that can be safely transplanted is used to save or improve someone’s life. It also sets out the actions to support and maximise the potential for living donation, which is vital for ensuring that as many people as possible receive the transplant they need.
Research and innovation are vital components of this strategy. The UK is a pioneer in
developing and adopting new techniques and technology in donation and transplantation and will continue to look to the future and lead the way, so that the benefits of this strategy will be felt well beyond the next decade. The improvements of the last ten years have taken commitment, passion and hard work to deliver. There is no sign of this dedication to delivering improvements wavering. The actions set out in this strategy are ambitious, but through continuing to work together, even more lives will be saved every year through the gift of organ donation.
A copy of the Strategy Report (‘Organ Donation and Transplantation 2030: Meeting the Need’) can be downlaided by clicking on the pic above and/or from the Unionsafety E-Library.
Organ Donation and Transplantation Strategy Webinar Recordings
Following the publication of the NHSBT Organ Donation and Transplantation Strategy, a series of webinars were organised in July to explain the Strategy. The Webinars also covered the Transplant Activity Report (TAR) and its headline figures.
The three webinars covered three areas and were:
· New NHSBT Strategy Webinar - This webinar focused on the transplantation aspects of the 2030 Strategy covering the vision for: living and deceased donor transplantation, organ utilisation, recipient outcomes and research and innovation.
· Deceased Donation Webinar - This webinar covered the current situation of
deceased donation, the hopes for the next 10 years, and maximising donation potential.
· Stakeholders and Partners Webinar - This webinar is an introduction to the new
2030 Strategy for all of the NHSBT’s charity sector and organisational partners. It gave an overview of current UK donation and transplantation trends and focus on NHSBT’s priorities for the coming 10 years.
Each have broadly similar information but are focused on the needs of different audiences. The Webinar recordings can be accessed at the following link:
Black, Asian, Mixed Race and Minority Ethnic Transplant Activity Report
On the 19th of August, a new report was published by NHS Blood and Transplant that showed the impact of Covid-19 on organ donation and transplantation amongst Black, Asian and Mixed Race and Minority Ethnic patients, and in particular the effects of a reduction in living donation.
NHSBT have published this supplementary report on the Organ Donation Website alongside the Transplant Activity Report, published earlier this year. The report outlines how the pandemic has had a significant impact on the numbers of living donor kidney transplants that could be performed, and as a result, the number of life-changing transplants, able to take place.
While 444 patients were able to receive a transplant from a living donor over the year - an extraordinary achievement in the midst of a pandemic - this was still a drop of 58% compared to the previous year.
NHSBT ran a webinar that covered:
· An overview of the key stats from the report, a reflection of the activity delivered over the last year to engage diverse audiences.
· NHSBT approach for the year ahead.
· An overview of NHSBT community investment scheme for living donation.
The Webinar recordings can be accessed here