Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust campaign brings in 288 new recruits for organ donation register
Dr Sandeep Dhir, Ashfield MP Gloria De Piero, transplant patient Debra Barlow and Sherwood Forest Hospitals Trust chair Louise Scull launch this year’s poster competition
More than 288 new registrations have been added to the organ donation register thanks to Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust’s Second Chance campaign.
The new recruits signed up during a three-day drive by transplant patients, doctors, nurses and hospital staff at King’s Mill Hospital, Sutton-in-Ashfield.
And organisers are delighted with the response - signing up 84 more people than they did during a similar event last year.
The event was supported by hospitals trust chair Louise Scull and Ashfield MP Gloria De Piero, who paid tribute to everyone who joined the register.
Gloria De Piero said: “This event demonstrates how the tragic end of someone’s life can become the new beginning for somebody who desperately needs a new organ.
“The team who organised it did a fantastic job in getting that message out and it was very moving to hear first-hand what a difference a transplant operation makes to someone who is seriously ill.
“I would urge anybody who is not already on the register to sign up as soon as they can.”
Sherwood Forest Hospitals’ clinical lead for organ donation, Dr Sandeep Dhir, said: “We had transplant patients and the relatives of donors on hand to tell their stories – it showed what a difference being an organ donor can make.
“More than 120 patients locally have received major organ transplants – heart, lungs, liver, pancreas or kidney – since 2013 but in the same period, 13 patients have died while waiting for a transplant to become available and 36 people are currently still waiting.
“This shows that every new name on the register is vitally important and we are hoping for more names to be added from the Newark, Mansfield and Ashfield areas thanks to publicity surrounding our campaign.”
The Second Chance theme of the event complemented the national organ donation week theme of “turning an end into a beginning”.
Speakers included double lung transplant patient Debra Barlow, from Mansfield Woodhouse, and Bronwyn Jones, from Skegby.
Debra suffered severe lung damage in 2006 after contracting chicken pox pneumonia. She had to wait until 2015 for a transplant but is now on the road to recovery and is campaigning to drive up numbers on the donation register.
Bronwyn Jones was hit by a virus in 2009 that caused heart failure. She had surgery a year later and within six months was back at work.
Gloria De Piero also launched a competition, calling on amateur artists to inspire others to join the register by designing a poster, using the themes Second Chance or “turning an end into a beginning” as inspiration.
More details about the poster competition are available on the Sherwood Forest Hospitals website.
• Debra will be talking about her life-saving operation, and her progress since, during a special question and answer session during the trust’s annual members’ meeting on Monday September 26.
She will be joined by NHS Blood and Transplant Service specialist nurse Ruth Ballington for the event, which is open to everyone and starts at 3.30pm at King’s Mill Conference Centre, on the King’s Mill hospital site, Sutton-in-Ashfield.
At 5.30pm, visitors can also attend the Trust’s Annual General Meeting, which will include the formal presentation of the annual report and accounts.
Joining the NHS Blood and Transplant Service’s Organ Donation Register is simple. Visit www.organdonation.nhs.uk and fill out your details. You can also register at the same time as you apply to the DVLA for a driving licence. Or you can telephone 0300 123 23 23.
The website has frequently asked questions and a myth-busting section to help explain exactly what joining the register means.