30/06/2014 - Permalink

Reminder to share your views on organ donation in Shropshire

Related topics: Community / Health

Residents across Shropshire are being reminded to take part in a countywide survey on their views around organ donation.

The Shropshire Organ Donation survey aims to find out what people in the county think about the organ donation policy: are they in favour of an ‘opt-in’ or an ‘opt-out’ policy?

Organ and tissue donation is the gift of an organ (eg heart, lungs, kidneys, liver, pancreas and small bowel) or tissue (eg bone, skin, tendon and corneas – the transparent front part of your eye) when you die to help someone who needs a transplant.  People who need organ transplants go on to transplant lists to wait for a suitable donor to become available.

So far around 1,000 people have taken part in the survey.  The survey which was due to close on today (Monday 30 June 2014) but is now being extended until Monday 14 July 2014 to allow more individuals to have their say.

Throughout June, Shropshire Council’s public health team have been busy speaking to residents across the county, and took surveys to a local supermarket to gain responses from people on the street.

The feedback from those taking the survey so far has been very positive:

  • “It’s not something that you think about every day, but it’s important to make decisions for the future”
  • “I didn’t know it was so easy to find out the information and to register my choice”
  • “I’m glad we’re getting to have a say on the policy”.

Karen Calder, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for health, said:

“It is important to gauge the views of local residents to see whether Shropshire people wish to remain with the ‘opt in’ or adopt the ‘opt out’ policy.

“I think it is so important for people in Shropshire to take part in this survey, and it’s very promising to see the number of responses and positive feedback we have already received.”

The full results of the survey will be published in the autumn, and will be taken to full council for debate.  If the majority response is for the organ donation policy to move to an ‘opt out’ policy, this outcome will be used to lobby central government for a change in policy.

To complete the survey online go to http://new.shropshire.gov.uk/get-involved/organ-and-tissue-donation/Closing date for the survey is now Monday 14 July 2014.

If you don’t have access to a computer, you can request a paper copy by calling the public health team on 01743 253989 or emailing healthyshropshire@shropshire.gov.uk.

To find out more about organ donation visit http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/Donation/Pages/Ethicsandworries.aspx.

For more information on keeping yourself healthy, have a look at the new Healthy Shropshire website: www.healthyshropshire.co.uk.

Further information

Every day people need transplants, from the very young to the very old.  This can be the last resort of lifesaving treatment or for life‐improving treatments.  This opportunity only becomes available, when someone donates their organs or tissues upon their death.

There are many reasons why people of all ages require an organ donation; these could be due to a genetic abnormality, a hereditary condition or disease or that they have developed a disease or illness that has caused an organ to fail.

There is quite a lot that we can do to help look after ourselves from the inside and maybe help prevent being in a situation where we need to have an organ transplant.  The most important thing is to consider our lifestyles and behaviours; are we making healthy choices?

Leading a lifestyle with plenty of physical activity, a balanced and nutritional diet, and reducing our alcohol consumption can make a big difference to our overall health.

Why not read our blog to find out more at http://shropshire.gov.uk/news/2014/06/taking-care-of-yourself-from-the-inside/.