Organ Donation workshop - public encouraged to join the donor register

31/10/2013

Over 50 clinical staff in Belfast Trust attended a workshop this week, designed to promote debate and encourage clinicians to embrace potential donation as an integral part of end of life care.

Patricia Donnelly, Director of Acute Services in Belfast Trust and chair of the organ donation committee said: "We are proud of the improvements we have made and this is testimony to the generosity of families. We know we have more to do and we are committed to making further improvements."

Speaking at the opening of the workshop Health Minister Edwin Poots said “There are currently just under 200 people waiting for an organ transplant in Northern Ireland and for each of these people the donation of an organ can be a life changing or life saving experience.

“It is for these people, many of whom may be friends, relatives, colleagues or patients of those gathered here today, that I once again call on everyone who has not yet signed up to the organ donor register to please do so today, and that having done so they should discuss their wishes with their family members and friends.”

In February 2013 the Health Minister announced that he would progress work to establish attitudes towards organ donation, including an opt-out system for organ donation. This work was taken forward by the Public Health Agency (PHA) and the initial work on establishing attitudes towards organ donation has just been completed. The report on public attitudes and stakeholder engagement in Northern Ireland was launched on 16 October 2013.

For more information on how to become an organ donor, log on to: http://www.nidirect.gov.uk/register-to-become-an-organ-donor.htm