Specialist nurse urges patients to help reduce transplant waiting list

Jenny Hughes has taken on the role of specialist organ donation nurse at Bradford Royal Infirmary

A newly-appointed specialist organ donation nurse wants all patients in her city to ‘take a few minutes’ to discuss becoming a donor with relatives and friends.

Jenny Hughes has joined Bradford Royal Infirmary, part of Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

There are 84 people on the transplant waiting list in Bradford. Those on the waiting list include 66 kidney patients, six people waiting for a new heart and seven people needing a liver.

Ms Hughes said that many families still say ‘no’ to requests to donate and in her experience, this is often because ‘they were unaware of their loved one’s decision' and they can find it difficult to consent on that person's behalf.

She wants ‘to get to the point where organ donation is high on the list of important personal conversations we routinely have’.

She said: ‘One donor can save or transform up to nine lives, and many more can be helped through the donation of tissues.

‘People often think you have to be the perfect human being, which isn’t necessarily true.

‘There's no age limit for donating and very few medical conditions exclude you from being able to donate.

‘Healthcare professionals decide to use your organs and tissue based on strict medical criteria.'

The trust's intensive care consultant and joint organ donation clinical lead Paul Stonelake said: ‘If you are one of the 132,539 people across the district who are on the register, please make sure you speak to your family and friends, just in case they are ever in the difficult position of being asked to consent to donating your organs.’

To join the Organ Donation Register click here or call 0300 123 23 23.

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