Sep 22nd 2021
Skies turn pink in Sandwell and West Birmingham for Organ Donation Week
Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust has turned the sky pink across its sites to raise awareness of organ donation.
The A&E department at Sandwell Hospital, in West Bromwich, along with the Birmingham Treatment Centre and the Organ Donation Memorial in the Remembrance Gardens at City Hospital have been lit up as part of Organ Donation Week which runs from 20 to 26 September. The Light It Up Pink initiative is inspired by the colour of the NHS Organ Donor Register card.
The organ donation team at the Trust, which runs the hospitals, hopes it will encourage staff and residents to talk about the subject, and share with their families their decisions on the matter.
Currently, 70,119 people in Sandwell and West Birmingham are already on the NHS Organ Donor Register. However, people need to tell their family to help ensure their family supports their decision, if they are approached about organ donation by a specialist nurse in hospital.
In May 2020, the law around organ donation in England changed to an ‘opt out’ system. This means that a person would be willing to donate their organs, unless they have opted out, are in one of the excluded groups or have told their family they do not want to donate.
Specialist Nurse for Organ Donation, Kerry Mills said: “Our buildings and the memorial look fabulous and we hope that this will help get people talking and finding out more about organ donation.
“We also need people in Sandwell and West Birmingham to get talking at home. Tell your friends and family what you want to happen in the event of your death and check you know the decision of wider family members.
“Sadly, many opportunities are lost every year in the community and around the country because families don’t know if their loved one wanted to be a donor or not. It is important that people know that you still have a choice and family members will still be consulted before organ donation goes ahead. Families are more likely to support an organ donation decision, when they already know that their loved one wants it to happen.”
This year, organ donation has also been added to the National Curriculum for the first time and youngsters are being encouraged to get together to talk about their own donation decisions.
Anthony Clarkson, Director of Organ and Tissue Donation and Transplantation, for NHS Blood and Transplant said: “It’s brilliant that Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust is showing support for Organ Donation Week.
“We’d like people in the community to just talk to their families. Even though the law around organ donation has now changed in England, people still have a choice and families will still always be consulted before organ donation goes ahead.
“Please, tell your family you want to save lives through organ donation, because it could be the difference between life and death for someone else.”
To find out more and register your decision, visit: www.organdonation.nhs.uk. Alternatively, users of the NHS app, can use this to record, check and update your details and organ donation decision.
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