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Families in Somerset urged to talk about organ donation

During Organ Donation Week, September 20 to 26, NHS Blood and Transplant is urging people in Somerset to talk to their families about organ donation as more than 7,000 people, including 200 children, are predicted to be in need of an organ transplant 1.

The hidden impact for these patients, which includes 48 people currently on the waiting list for a transplant from Somerset, is being highlighted with the release of a new song from the 'Harmonies of Hope' children's choir called 'Invisible'.

After a most challenging year for the NHS and people across the world, waiting lists for organs including kidney, heart, liver, lungs, are expected to rise and NHS Blood and Transplant is calling for more families in Somerset to talk and share their organ donation decision to increase the chances of the many children, young people and adults in need of their own life-saving call.

Last year, 40 people in Somerset had their lives saved by a transplant after someone died and donated their organs. If more people agreed to donate, more lives would be saved in Somerset and around the country.

It is hoped the choir's song will inspire people in Somerset to talk about organ donation and for all members of the family, whatever their age, to help make sure more lives are saved.

Anthony Clarkson, Director of Organ and Tissue Donation and Transplantation, at NHS Blood and Transplant, says:

"Every day across the UK there are thousands of patients and their families, waiting for that all important life-saving call, including 48 people in Somerset. Yet, this is often only possible as a result of another family receiving some of the hardest news they might ever have to hear.

"Even though the law around organ donation has changed to an opt out system for adults in England, Scotland and Wales, it is important that people are aware that families will still always be consulted before organ donation goes ahead.

"It is just as important as ever to make your organ donation decision known to your family and friends and leave them certain of what you what to happen in the event of your death.

"We urge all family members of all ages in Somerset to take a moment this Organ Donation Week to talk and share your decision."

Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid said: "Waiting for an organ match can be a challenging and isolating experience, and I want to applaud Harmonies of Hope for their bravery in sharing such powerful accounts of lifesaving transplants.

"It's vital we do all we can to ensure no child feels invisible as they wait for a match, particularly those families in underrepresented, ethnic minority communities where donation rates are not high.

"This can change and I am urging families up and down the country to have honest and frank conversations this week about organ donations. It's a decision that could save someone's life."

https://www.organdonation.nhs.uk/, or to register your organ donation decision, please visit: or call 0300 123 23 23. NHS app users can also use the service to record, check or update their organ donation decision.

For additional information please call the press office on 01923 367600 or email pressoffice@nhsbt.nhs.uk

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