We recently attended the seventh meeting of the NHS Blood and Transplant ‘Patient Support Group’ held in London on 13th July.
This is a forum organised by the NHS to ensure a broad range of liver support groups and charities can represent their patient views and needs. This enables senior management within the NHS to take our views into consideration when determining strategy and policy in the field of liver transplantation.
The latest figures from NHS show a continuing positive trend in all areas of transplant activity.
In the ten years to 31 March 2015, 10,500 patients went on to the UK waiting list for a liver transplant. Of these almost three quarters got a transplant. 12% died before getting a transplant or within 1 year of being removed from the list due to their condition deteriorating.
Last year 878 liver transplant operations was performed by the 7 UK liver transplant centres using organs donated by deceased donors.
With liver disease in the UK continuing to rise (we have seen a 20% increase in deaths related to liver disease since 2000). There is still a lot of work to be done as on average three people a day die across the UK each day in need of an organ transplant due to a shortage of people being willing to donate their organs.
To this end, we at Liver4Life will continue to support the NHS in their efforts to recruit more donors. It only takes a few minutes to register a decision to donate on the NHS Organ Donor Register and it’s important to discuss your decision with your family so they know what you want.
Sarah Matthews, Co-Founder of Liver4Life, says: “We really value the opportunity to represent patient views in this group. It is encouraging that there is an increase in donors being made available to people desperately in need of a liver as well as a decline in the number of people requiring a transplant, however we must not be complacent and must continue to push for earlier identification of liver damage and disease.”
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