A week to talk, educate and remember those who have saved lives

It is just over a year since the National Assembly for Wales passed landmark legislation to change the organ donation system in Wales, during which time a lot has been achieved.

Wales will be marking National Transplant Week (July 7-13) with Time to Talk events planned across the country throughout the week.

In his capacity as Health Minister, Mark Drakeford will mark Transplant Week by attending an organ donation Time to Talk information event for Welsh Government staff at Cathays Park on Monday July 7 at 10.30am

Every day this week, there will be Time to Talk events in more than 50 different locations across Wales to inform the public about organ donation and the changes which will come into effect in Wales from December 1, 2015.

The events will be a mixture of formal group talks and informal drop-in sessions at supermarkets, libraries, leisure centres, workplaces and council offices.

An organ donation champion and member of the Welsh Government’s organ donation team will be at each event to answer questions about organ donation and provide information about deemed consent. The events include the formal opening of a new organ donation memorial garden in Aberystwyth on Wednesday July 9.

The latest in a series of Wales-wide television, radio and digital adverts will be broadcast for the first time during National Transplant Week – the new advert highlights the importance of talking with loved ones about personal organ donation wishes.

During the week, the Welsh Government will also publish the results of a recent survey of NHS staff in Wales. The report evaluation of the Human Transplantation (Wales) Act found a high level of awareness and support for the new soft opt-out law among NHS Wales staff. Of those surveyed, 80% said they thought it would lead to an increase in the number of overall organ donors.

Mark said: “National Transplant Week in Wales is an opportunity to raise awareness of the importance of organ donation and explain the new legislative changes, not only to the Welsh public but to frontline staff working in the NHS.

“I am pleased to see so many public events taking place in each health board area and I hope they will help spread the word about the new law and what it means to each and every resident from December 1, 2015.

“NHS staff will be key to the success of the change in organ donation and the results from the baseline analysis of their awareness and knowledge or the law change are encouraging as we move forward with the communications campaign.

“There is already a high level of awareness among staff groups and a confidence the law will improve organ donation rates. It shows the more staff know about the legislation, the more they support the changes and the more directly involved in organ donation staff are, the more they know about and support the changes. We will re-run this survey in 2016.”