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Organ Donation Wales launch new campaign to encourage more people to register

Welsh Government has unveiled its latest TV advertising campaign during Organ Donation Week (2nd – 9th September) in a bid to encourage more people to sign the Organ Donor Register.

This is the third advert from the Welsh Government and evolves from last year’s hard-hitting campaign urging people to have the organ donation conversation but also to make a decision, tell their family and then register it online.

Figures from NHS Blood and Transplant show that nearly half of people in Wales have now registered their organ donation decision on the Organ Donor Register.

In 2015, Wales adopted a soft-opt out system of consent, where if a person has not registered any organ donation decision, then their consent can be deemed.  Deemed consent means that a person is assumed to have no objection to organ donation unless they have stated otherwise.  Moving to the new system has helped increase the consent rate in Wales to the highest in the UK.  However, the ability to opt in on the Organ Donor Register has always been there and is something we want to encourage people to do.

The new advertising campaign plays on famous guessing games such as charades to playfully but powerfully communicate the message that families are more likely to support a decision if they know what their relative wanted.

Specialist Nurse for Organ Donation, Sarah Crosby, whose job it is to have the conversation with the families of those who donate and receive organs, said: “Because of the soft opt out law in Wales, we can assume consent unless a person has said otherwise.  This is really helpful when having conversations with families, but we do find some relatives are still unsure in these situations.  This is why, if you feel passionately about being an organ donor and want your family to be sure of what you want, then I would encourage you to go online and opt in.”

“Last year 24 people in Wales died waiting for an organ, so it’s an important message to get across that joining the Organ Donor Register and telling your loved ones is the best way of making everyone aware of your decision,” Sarah added.

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The new campaign follows the award- winning ‘Talk About Organ Donation’ television campaign which centred on family members overriding the decision of an organ donor.

Creative Director at Golley Slater behind the campaign, Paul Williams said: “The new campaign is an exciting step for Organ Donation Wales.

“We’ve established the need for people to have the chat with their loved ones in previous campaigns but now we’re pushing for people to take action and sign the register. Using the theme of family games reiterates the importance of having this conversation with those closest to us to avoid confusion in the future.”

Health Secretary Vaughan Gething said: “It’s encouraging to see that Wales has paved the way in organ donation legislation and both England and Scotland have followed our lead with opt-out legislation coming into force in 2020. Despite many people being aware of the legislation in Wales, we must continually think of new ways to ensure as many people as possible are doing all they can to make their decision clear to their friends and family.

“There are certain times in our lives when we are prompted to think about organ donation, like when we renew our driving licenses, or when visiting the doctors.  We want to create as many opportunities as possible for people to reflect on and talk about their decision, and if they want, to register that on the Organ Donor Register.  We hope this advertising campaign will do just that. We’re extremely proud of the campaign and we’re looking forward to seeing it on our TVs, social media and in print making sure as many people as possible start chatting about organ donation.”

The advert will be shown for the first time tonight (2.09.19) in the break in Coronation Street on ITV Wales and S4C.

If you want to donate your organs, it’s important to make a decision, register it by calling 0300 123 23 23 or visiting https://beta.gov.wales/talk-about-organ-donation-campaign and have the organ donation chat with your loved ones.

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