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‘Join NHS Organ Donor Register and help save lives’ urges Alex

The people in MP Alex Cunningham’s Stockton North constituency are above average – at registering as organ donors – but he is now urging them to save more lives by joining the NHS Organ Donor Register and discussing their wishes with their families.

Since 2006 over 33 people in Stockton North have had their lives saved by an organ transplant, but tragically three people on the waiting list die every day in the UK because they do not receive a transplant in time. There are currently 7,713 people waiting for a life-saving organ transplant in the UK, including 9 people in Stockton North constituency.

96% of us would take an organ if we needed one, but sadly at the moment only 39% of people in the constituency have joined the NHS Organ Donor Register, which has replaced the old donor card system.

While good progress has been made in increasing organ donation and transplantation since 2007, achieving a 28% increase in the number of people who become organ donors after their deaths, the target is to raise this to 60% by 2013.

There is also a strong economic case for increasing organ donation and transplantation. The existing transplant programme already saves the NHS £300 million each year compared to the cost of alternative treatments, and if the 60% increase in organ donation was achieved this saving would increase to over £500 million each year. This money would stay in the NHS to be spent on front line services.

Alex said:

“Organ donation is a wonderful gift. A kidney transplant can prevent a lifetime on dialysis, whilst a liver, lung, or heart transplant can remarkably restore someone who would otherwise die back to health. I congratulate my constituents for their work in achieving a 39% rate of donor registration in Stockton North, well above the UK average of 29%, but there is still a long way to go. More must be done, and more can be done. Schools, GPs and local community groups all have a role in working together to make sure that this increase continues over the next few years to ensure lives are not lost unnecessarily.”