Trust calls for local residents to help turn an end into a beginning

5th Sep 2016

OVER THE LAST five years, 25 patients have helped turn an end into a beginning at Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust (SWBH) by becoming an organ donor after their death, according to figures provided by NHS Blood and Transplant to mark Organ Donation Week (5th – 11th September). The week highlights how people could give someone the chance of a new beginning by telling their family they want to be an organ donor.

Every day across the UK, around three people who could have benefited from a transplant die because there aren’t enough organ donors. And currently, in the West Midlands, around 362 people are on the active waiting list for a transplant. Yet, of the approximately half a million people*** who die each year across the UK, only around 1% (5,603) die in circumstances where their organs could be donated.

With such small numbers of people dying in the circumstances to become an organ donor and so many adults and children in need of a transplant, it is vital that no opportunity for someone to become a donor is missed.

Many people believe that all you need to do to show you want to be a donor is to join the NHS Organ Donor Register. However, if you die in circumstances where you could become an organ donor your family would be approached by specialist nurses and asked to support.

NHS Blood and Transplant figures show that only 47% of families agree to organ donation if they are unaware of their relative’s decision to be a donor. Yet almost 90% of families give their consent when the decision to be an organ donor is known.

Judith Martin, specialist nurse organ donation at SWBH said: “Life-saving transplants are only possible if people are willing to be donors so we are extremely grateful to the donors and their families from the West Midlands who in the last five years have helped to give a new beginning to people across the UK.  Donor families should be very proud that they agreed to donation going ahead and we hope that others will be inspired to talk about organ donation and to share their decision with their relatives.

“At our Trust, we want to encourage people to discuss this topic more openly. To encourage this we have displayed posters at sites across our hospitals, in the hope this will encourage people to talk more about organ donation.”

Physiotherapy patient Joan Ashmore at Sandwell Hospital, said: “I’ve been thinking about organ donation for years and yes, I will go on the register because I would be grateful to accept an organ should I need it in the future and we should give back something to the NHS.”

Anthony Clarkson, Assistant Director for Organ Donation and Nursing at NHS Blood and Transplant, said: “Too many families faced with the possibility of donating a relative’s organs, find themselves having to make a decision without the comfort of knowing exactly what their loved one would have wanted. This makes what is already an emotional and difficult time even harder. It is vital you tell your family about your organ donation decision, that knowledge will make it so much easier for them to support what you want.

Many donor families say that donation helps with their grief and they feel enormous pride, knowing that their relative went on to save lives after they died – giving others the chance of a new beginning. So please talk to your relatives and tell them that you want to donate should you be in a position to do so, and that you want them to support your decision to save lives after your death.”

Across the country during Organ Donation Week, hospitals, health teams, charities and individual supporters and their families will be highlighting the need for people to talk about organ donation and share their decision with family.

Start a conversation today and help turn an end into a beginning. Join the NHS Organ Donor Register and make sure you tell your friends and family your decision.

Visit or call 0300 123 23 23. Share your decision with your friends, using hashtag #YesIDonate



SWBH NHS Trust Communications Department. Tel: 0121 507 5303. Follow us on social media:


For more information about the Organ Donation and Transplantation Activity Report, please contact the NHS Blood and Transplant Press Office via or 01923 367600.  For out of hours enquiries please call: 0117 969 2444


Notes to editors

*Number of deceased organ donors from Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust between 1 April 2011 – 31 March 2016

**Number of patients in the West Midlands waiting for a transplant (as of 17 August 2016)

***In 2015/16, there were roughly 570,000 deaths in the UK, of which 5,603 (~5,600) died in circumstances where their organs can be donated.


** In 2015/16, 33.6% of families from a BAME background gave consent for donation, compared to 65.8% of white families.


*** Comparison statistics taken from TNS survey, March 2016

Awareness of NHS Organ Donor Register – 74% of white respondents, compared to 57% BAME respondents

Agree its important to share decision – 59% of white respondents, compared to 38% of BAME respondents

Had the conversation with family – 48% of white respondents, compared to 27% of BAME respondents

Whether all or some family aware of organ donation decision – 83% of white respondents, 77% of BAME respondents


NHS Blood and Transplant


  • NHS Blood and Transplant is a joint England and Wales Special Health Authority. We are responsible for ensuring a safe and efficient supply of blood and associated services to the NHS in England. We are also the organ donation organisation for the UK and are responsible for matching and allocating donated organs.
  • We are an essential part of the NHS and take pride in saving and improving lives by making the most of every voluntary donation, from blood and organs to tissues and stem cells.
  • Our work would not be possible without our donors – ordinary people doing extraordinary things by saving and improving the lives of others.
  • To find out more visit:
  • Follow us on social media
  • About organ donation
  • It is quick and easy to join the NHS Organ Donor Register. Visit or contact our 24 hour a day donor line – 0300 123 23 23.
  • The register records your decision on whether you want to donate your organs and/or tissue after your death to save and improve the lives of others. It is used by authorised medical staff to establish whether someone has registered an organ donation decision.
  • Letting your family know your organ donation decision will make it much easier for them to support what you want.
  • Every day across the UK around three people who could have benefited from a transplant die because there aren’t enough organ donors. We need more people to agree to organ donation
  • Anyone can join the NHS Organ Donor Register, age and medical conditions are not necessarily a barrier to donation.
  • One donor can save or transform up to nine lives through organ donation and transform even more by donating tissue.
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