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Northumbria trust urges people to talk about organ donation

James M

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Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust is encouraging people to talk to their families about organ donation as part of their end of life care wishes.

To mark Organ Donation Week which runs until Sunday 10 September, the trust is urging people to tell their families they want to become donors to ensure more life-saving transplants can take place.

Figures released by NHS Blood and Transplant this week show 275 people in the North East have died waiting for an organ transplant over the past 10 years.

This means that hundreds of life-saving transplants are being missed every year because families do not know what their relative wanted. Left to make the decision for someone they love, families often decide it is safer to say no.

The reluctance to talk about the issue is contributing to a deadly shortage of organs. In the North East alone, there are currently 264 people waiting for a transplant. They will only receive that life-changing call if people make sure their families know they want to be a donor.

In 2016/17 the trust had the highest number of families consent to organ donation.

Tracey Carrott, Specialist Nurse in Organ Donation at NHS Blood and Transplant, said;

“To have 20 families consenting to organ donation last year is excellent and when you consider each donation has the potential to save up to nine lives – it brings home the scale of this. When you think that we had one family consenting to organ donation in 2010, it really does show how far we’ve come in the last seven years.

“Whereas nowadays many people are more aware of their relatives’ end of life care wishes, there are still many families who do not have that conversation and simply do not know what to do when that time comes.

“While we’ve made great strides in this area in recent years, we’re pleased to support this year’s Organ Donation Week and encourage people to make their family aware of their views.”

NHS Blood and Transplant surveys show more than 80% of people support organ donation but only around 49% of people have ever talked about it. Research shows that women are 30% more likely to start a conversation about organ donation than men.

Families who agree to donate say it helps with their grief and that they feel an enormous sense of pride at knowing their relative gave others the chance of a new beginning.

NHS Blood and Transplant wants everyone to be able to save lives through organ donation and not be prevented from doing so because they have not told a relative their decision.

For more information about organ donation, visit www.nhsbt.nhs.uk

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Secondary Care

NHS wants to send patients to France for treatment

Sarah J

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Calais Hospital has a partnered with NHS South Kent Clinical Commissioning Group to provide elective treatment to NHS patients.

The Centre Hospitalier de Calais is prepared to take on NHS patients for elective treatment from and its website says it is “part of the UK NHS system”.

The Calais hospital. built in 2012, has state of the art equipment, no waiting list and patients can be seen within weeks.

The hospital has even installed English signage, designed part of its website in English and trained doctors and nurses in English medical terminology.

On its website the hospital says;

“Just five minutes from the Eurotunnel and ferry terminals, Calais Hospital opened in 2012 and offers state-of-the-art facilities to rival the best private healthcare provision in east Kent”.

Rob Hustwayte, the commissioning groups’ spokesman, says patients have a right to choose where they receive NHS treatment. He said;

“We would encourage local people to consider the options of using hospitals in France and England when discussing treatment with their GP”.

Despite the promise of state-of-the-art facilities and no waiting lists the French hospital says it has only received two referrals – one last year and one this year as many patients opt to wait for an appointment in their home country.

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NHS begs for emergency funding as it faces worst winter in history

Ian Snug

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Experts are warning that the NHS is facing its worst winter in history if it does not receive an immediate funding boost.

NHS Providers, the association that represents healthcare trusts in England, has called for emergency funding of between £200m and £350m to enable the NHS to ensure patient safety in the coming winter months.

Experts say that failure to provide extra funding will lead to longer waiting times for patients in A&E as well as other services. They go on to warn that patient safety could be put at risk.

Chris Hopson, chief executive of NHS Providers, said:

“Last winter the health service came under pressure as never before.

“At its height, the NHS had to provide 4,500 additional beds a day – equivalent to more than eight extra hospitals.

“Patient safety was compromised as local services struggled to cope with the pressures. “At times, in some places, the NHS was overwhelmed.

“We must act now to prevent the situation becoming even worse this winter.

“Trusts are doing all they can to prepare for this winter in the face of increasing demand for their services and competing priorities.

“And they are benefiting from much better national level planning from NHS England and NHS Improvement which is helping to identify and support those local areas that are most at risk.

“But despite this, the overwhelming view of NHS trusts is that without immediate extra funding they will not have sufficient capacity to manage this winter safely.

“This risk has been heightened because, in many areas, the £1bn of extra support for social care announced in the Budget will not ease winter pressures on the NHS, as the Government had planned.

“Patients will therefore be put at greater risk as local trusts won’t have the extra beds, staff and services they need to meet the extra demand they will face.

“The only way to mitigate these risks is through an urgent NHS cash injection to ensure the NHS has the necessary capacity this winter.”

NHS Providers explains that NHS Trusts are at greater financial pressure than ever before and therefore extra funding is ultimately needed to ensure patient safety.

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