SOLIHULL residents are being urged to sign up to donate their organs after death.
As part of the NHS’s National Transplant Week local people are being asked to ‘Say Yes I Donate’ and sign up to be an organ donor.
The drive follows last year’s fall in the number of people donating organs in the UK – the first fall in 11 years.
But with a third of adults admitting they have not considered organ donation or decided if they want to be an organ donor, the UK has one of the lowest rates of families consenting to organ donation in Europe.
In Warwickshire alone there are 77 people waiting for a transplant and just 20 local people were saved last year thanks to deceased organ donation.
And with one donor having the ability of saving or transforming up to nine lives, the NHS is urging people of all ages – including those with medical conditions – to sign up during National Transplant Week.
Anthony Clarkson, NHS Blood and Transplant’s Assistant Director for Organ Donation and Nursing said: “To save more lives we need more donors.
“To raise that number we really need everyone to understand the importance of not being complacent.
“We need to get to the point where organ donation is high on the list of important personal conversations we routinely have with loved ones.”
In research conducted by NHS Blood and Transplant, figures showed many people were reluctant to talk about the subject of organ donation over fears they could upset family members.
But Mr Clarkson argues that this discomfort in discussion the subject means many healthy organs that could be donated aren’t used.
He added: “As a nation we’re happy sharing dreams of big money wins and bucket-list holidays, and we’ll confide in our loved ones our worries about how we look.
“Yet too many of us are still not making the time or are not comfortable talking about organ donation.
“Telling your loved ones you want to be an organ donor means your family will be in no doubt about your decision meaning your wishes will be fulfilled should you die in circumstances where organ donation is possible.”
National Transplant Week is ongoing until Sunday, September 13 and more information can be found online at www.organdonation.nhs.uk