People encouraged to leave families certain for Organ Donation Week

[inro]Having awkward conversations with your loved ones is never easy especially when it comes to death and dying. However, if you leave them certain about your wishes on organ donation it could help change someone’s life.[/intro]

As part of Organ Donation Week – which runs from September 20 to 26 – our specialist staff are asking you to leave them certain about your decision.

Nationally, as of March 2021, there were 4,256 people on the transplant list. Sadly, 474 people died between April 2020 and March 2021.

Last year, staff at Scunthorpe and Grimsby hospitals supported six families to leave a positive legacy after the death of their loved one. Through their selflessness, 12 families were given the chance of a brighter, healthier, and happier future.

The law around organ donation changed in England in May 2020 and all adults are now considered as having agreed to donate their own organs when they die, unless they record a decision not to donate, are in one of the excluded groups or have told their family that they don’t want to donate.

However, relatives will still always be consulted before organ donation goes ahead and each year, opportunities for transplants are missed because families aren’t sure what to do.

This year, organ donation has also been added to the National Curriculum for the first time, so family members, whatever their age, are being encouraged to get together to talk about their own organ donation decisions.

Consultant anaesthetist Dr Shan Dharmarajah, clinical lead for organ donation at our hospitals, said: “Knowing what your relative wanted, helps families support their decision around organ donation at what is often a difficult time.

“We need more people in Scunthorpe, Grimsby and Goole to talk with their loved ones about organ donation to give them the certainty they need to support their organ donation decision.”

This week, our Trust is supporting the campaign by sharing information with our staff and with members of the public.

A nurse stood up smiling

Fay Turner

Specialist nurse for organ donation Fay Turner said: “We need more people across northern Lincolnshire and Goole to talk about organ donation to increase the number of lifesaving transplants.

“Your loved ones will still always be consulted before organ donation goes ahead. Please don’t wait. Speak to your family about organ donation and let them know your decision today.”

She added: “Having six successful donations last year at our hospitals is truly remarkable considering the challenges staff were facing due to the pandemic. However, they continued to refer all appropriate patients in order to give all families the best end of life care. The Yorkshire Organ Donation Services team cannot thank them enough.”

Anthony Clarkson, director of organ and tissue donation and transplantation for NHS Blood and Transplant said: “We are very grateful to Scunthorpe, Grimsby and Goole hospitals for their support during Organ Donation Week.

“Even now the law has changed, families will continue to be approached before organ donation goes ahead. It remains so important to talk to your families and ensure they know what you would want to happen.

“Register your organ donation decision on the NHS Organ Donor Register and tell your family the choice you have made. If the time comes, we know families find the organ donation conversation much easier if they already know what their relative wanted.”

To find out more and register your decision, visit the NHS Organ Donor Register at and share your decision with your family. Users of the NHS app, can also use this to record, check or amend their details or decision.

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