Published: Monday, 23rd October 2017
The Royal Borough of Greenwich is urging residents to sign up to the organ donor register to help save more lives.
Councillors passed a motion on 18 October to support the national 'Yes I donate' campaign which aims to raise awareness of the importance of organ donation.
A cross party group of 15 councillors put forward the motion which also pledged to back the introduction of a nationwide opt-out organ donation system. This would mean that everybody is assumed to give their consent for organ and tissue donation unless they specifically opt out - the opposite of the current system where people have to opt in.
It comes just a few months before a private member's bill to introduce a nationwide opt-out organ donation is set to be debated in the House of Commons and follows a presumed consent scheme being introduced in Wales in 2015 and the news that a similar scheme is set to be rolled out in Scotland.
England's transplant consent rate is one of the lowest in Europe as many people do not discuss or record their wishes with their families.
Three people die every day in the UK while waiting for a transplant and many others lose their lives before they even get on to the transplant list.
Just one donor can save the lives of several people, restore the sight of two others and improve the quality of life for many more.
'Help those on the waiting list for a transplant'
Councillor David Gardner, Cabinet Member for Health and Adult Social Care, said: "Councillors felt that action should be taken to help those on the waiting list for a transplant, including the 17 people who are currently waiting in Greenwich. After all, if the soft opt-out system has been successful in Wales and is set to be introduced in Scotland - why shouldn't this also be the case in England?
"We know that the gap between the number of organs donated and the number of people waiting for a transplant is just set to widen and we hope to help bridge that gap. I hope our motion will show the Government that we are behind this cause and encourage them to bring about this timely change."