Newham Council to lead new initiative to promote blood and organ donation amongst residents
On Wednesday 14 December, the London Borough of Newham will become the first council to sign a formal partnership agreement with NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) aimed at increasing organ and blood donation rates among residents. Building on the support already provided by other councils, the two year agreement will allow efforts to be sustained and momentum to be maintained in awareness-raising efforts.
The unique collaboration between Newham Council and NHSBT will see a group of volunteers, recruited through the council's volunteer scheme; receive special training to act as local ambassadors, promoting blood and organ donation to target hard-to-reach groups.
The donation message will also be promoted to council staff and residents through channels such as the council's magazine for residents, its website and community events.
Newham has one of the lowest rates of sign up to the NHS Organ Donor Register (ODR) and a below average number of blood donors. Only 16% of Newham residents are on the ODR, (the UK average is 30%) and only 0.85% of residents are blood donors (the average for England and North Wales is 4%).
With 52 people from the borough on the transplant waiting list and 76% of those from the Asian or Black community, it is vital that awareness of these issues is raised so that more lives can be saved.
Newham's proactive approach is being spearheaded by Councillor Clive Furness, executive member for health. He said: "This partnership is about raising awareness of the importance of blood and organ donation amongst our community.
"We have one of the most diverse communities in the UK, and we want our residents to step forward and help save the lives of others by becoming blood and organ donors."
Lynda Hamlyn, Chief Executive of NHSBT, said: "We are delighted to be launching this innovative collaboration with Newham Council. Donation champions working within their local community to promote the importance of blood and organ donation will raise awareness and encourage more people to save lives. It enables the community to take direct action on an issue of crucial importance.
"We congratulate Newham Council on taking this ground breaking step and hope it is the first of many partnerships between councils and NHSBT."
Any council wanting to contact NHSBT to find out more can email email@example.com
For further information or to confirm attendance, please contact Claire Dolling, Media and PR Officer on 01923 366844 or firstname.lastname@example.org
For out of hours enquiries please call: 07659 133583
Notes to editors
- NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) is a joint England and Wales Special Health Authority. Its remit includes the provision of a reliable, efficient supply of blood and associated services to the NHS in England and North Wales. It is also the organ donor organisation for the UK and is responsible for matching and allocating donated organs.
- NHSBT's donor line - 0300 123 23 23 - is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week with all calls charged at the standard local rate, even from mobile phones
- The NBS collects approximately two million units of blood each year from 1.4 million blood donors
- The NHS needs 7,000 voluntary donations of blood daily
- Only 4% of the eligible population are active blood donors
- A unit of blood is measured as 470mls (or just under a pint)
- There were 38,992 people (as at 7/12/2011) from Newham on the NHS Organ Donor Register, reflecting 16.2% of Newham's population
- There are currently 2058 active blood donors who live in the London
Borough of Newham - 0.85% of Newham's population