BY NEWS REPORTER
A woman who underwent a kidney transplant, is helping to launch a campaign urging people to donate organs and the join a donor register.
Former Plumstead resident Laura Manners, who had the transplant in 2009, helped start the roadshow at Tesco in Woolwich on Monday. The roadshow will visit other busy locations around the borough over the next few weeks.
An information stand will provide support and advice and staff will give out leaflets debunking some of the myths surrounding organ donation. The start of the roadshow comes just a few months after councillors passed a cross-party motion to raise awareness of the importance of organ donation and back the introduction of a nationwide opt-out organ donation system.
Laura Manners said: “It’s so easy for people to forget or not speak to their loved ones about their decision to donate and those organs are unintentionally wasted so I think it’s so important that we change the system from opt in to opt out.”
The council has encouraged NHS Greenwich Clinical Commission Group (CCG) and Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust to get behind the roadshow.
Councillor David Gardner, cabinet member for health and adult social care, said: “About three people die every day in the UK while waiting for an organ transplant.
“I hope our organ motion roadshow encourages more residents to sign the organ donor register as well as encouraging those that have already signed to share their wishes with their families.
“As only one in 100 people die in circumstances where their organs can be considered for transplantation, every potential donor is vitally important – but signing up as an organ donor isn’t the end of the story.”
The council has teamed up with Charlton Athletic Community Trust for the outreach programme which coincides with the launch of the NHS’s Words save lives campaign.
It urges people who have signed up to the organ donor register already to share their decision with their family and next of kin as they will need to support their decision.
Managing director of NHS Greenwich Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) Neil Kennett-Brown said:
“Thousands of people across the UK are waiting for a transplant that could save their life.
“If you support organ donation, it’s important to make your opinions known. Take the time to discuss your views with friends and family and register your choice with the NHS Organ Donation Register.”
Michaela Heller, consultant anaesthetist and intensivist at Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust, said: “Organ donation can save and transform lives and, as clinical lead for organ donation at Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust, I’m well aware of the shortage of donors.”