Media Release: Sign up to save a life during National Transplant Week

PEOPLE in Lothian are being urged to ‘sign up to save a life’ and join the national organ donor register during National Transplant Week.

Monday 4th July marks the start of National Transplant Week and NHS Lothian is asking people in Lothian to support its ‘Sign up to Save a Life’ campaign by registering as organ donors.

In November 2010 NHS Lothian took on the challenge of raising the number of registered donors from 42 per cent to 50 per cent and launched the ‘Sign up to Save a Life’ awareness campaign.

The campaign has been hugely successful, with the number of people joining the register in Lothian doubling within the first two months.

Says a spokesperson: “The latest statistics show that 44 per cent of the Lothian population are now registered organ donors, which means that over 368,000 people have now registered and that Lothian has the second highest number of donors in Scotland.”

John Forsythe, consultant transplant surgeon, NHS Lothian said: “The rise in the number of donors is a really positive sign for the future; however, we must remember that there are still over 600 Scots on the waiting list, who desperately need a life saving transplant.

“I would urge everyone who hasn’t already signed up, to join the national register. It only takes a minute but each donor could save as many as eight lives.”

The ‘Sign up to Save a Life’ campaign has so far seen NHS Lothian team up with big businesses, organisations, colleges and universities to encourage their staff and students to learn more about transplantation and become donors.

A dedicated website has been created and donors can also join up by texting “fifty” on their mobile phone to 61611.

An iPhone application (app) has also been designed as part of the campaign, which is free to download from iTunes.

Notes to editors:

  • In February 2011, NHS Lothian was recognised as the first health board in Scotland to create an iPhone application (app) as part of its organ donation campaign, which is free to download from iTunes
  • The campaign, was awarded, ‘Best Campaign’ and ‘Best use of Online Communication’ by the Institute of Internal Communication’s (IoIC) Scotland in March 2011.


Issued: 4th July 2011
Victoria Mundell
communications officer
NHS Lothian
0131 465 5645

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