Simple way to save lives says Wealden mp


Heathfield MP Greg Barker points out there are now 7,423 people waiting for a life-saving organ transplant in the UK, including eight people in his constituency.

Since 2007 more than 21 people in his Bexhill and Battle constituency, including Heathfield, Broad Oak, Burwash and villages eastwards, 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.

Greg points out 96 per cent of us would take an organ if we needed one, but sadly at the moment only 43 per cent of people in the constituency have joined the NHS Organ Donor Register, which has replaced the old donor card system. This is well above the UK average of 30 per cent, but there is still a long way to go.

He said: “I am calling on everyone in the constituency to help save more lives by joining the register and discussing their wishes with their families.

“The Government has made good progress in increasing organ donation and transplantation since 2007 and has already achieved a 40 per cent increase in the number of people who become organ donors after their deaths.

“The Government is now in the process of developing their post 2013 strategy—building on the progress made so far and identifying new ways to make sure as many people as possible in the UK receive the transplant they need.

“But in the meantime more must be done, and more can be done.

“We all need to work together to make sure this increase continues.

“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 to health who would otherwise die.

“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 with the cost of alternative treatments and if the 60 per cent 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.”

To promote donation, schools can encourage pupils to discuss organ donation, GP surgeries can display information in waiting rooms, and local people can join the NHS Organ Donor Register at or by calling 0300 123 23 23.