A new nurse has been appointed to help support patients and families to save lives through organ and tissue donation.
Kate Dreyer has been appointed as a second specialist organ donation nurse at Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust due to the increased number of families in Northumberland consenting to organ and tissue donations over the last two years.
She will work alongside Tracey Carrott, the trust’s first specialist organ donation nurse, at both Wansbeck and North Tyneside hospitals.
During National Transplant Week (July 7 to 13), Kate encouraged people to inform their family and friends if they wish to be donors when they pass away.
Kate said: “Organ donation helps the NHS to save thousands of lives every year however we know that many more could be saved if people’s families were aware that they wished to be donors when they pass away.
“It is great news that we now have two specialist organ donation nurses dedicated to helping families in Northumberland and North Tyneside and ensures that we are able to offer a greater level of support to them at what is an extremely difficult time.”
The role of a specialist organ donation nurse involves promoting and raising awareness about the value of organ and tissue donation and answering questions.
Kate worked as an intensive care nurse for five years before taking up her first specialist organ donation role in 2012.
“Ever since I qualified as a nurse nine years ago I knew that organ donation was ultimately the area in which I wanted to specialise,” she said.
“It is an area of nursing that can often go under people’s radars however it plays such an important role and helps save thousands of lives every year.”
Sally Johnson, NHS Blood and Transplant’s director of organ donation and transplantation, added: “We know that families are much less likely to allow organ donation to go ahead if they don’t know if it’s what their loved one wanted. So have the conversation and spell it out.
“Tell those closest to you that you want to donate your organs after you die to help some of the 10,000 people in the UK currently in need of a life changing organ transplant.”
For further information about National Transplant Week and to register your organ donation decision, go to www.transplantweek.co.uk