PUBLIC SECTOR: DoH hands UK Transplant organ donor work

The Department of Health press office is to hand over responsibility for organ donation campaigning to UK Transplant in April.

Ahead of the handover UK Transplant has appointed its first marketing and campaign manager, Angie Burton, whose duties are set to include responsibility for overseeing campaign work for the NHS organ donor register.

She said a major campaign will aim, for the first time, to target the NHS's one million staff, because of their potential 'as ambassadors for organ donation'.

Research is to get underway to see the best way of targeting staff, which she describes as a 'hard to reach group due to their fragmentation'.

Campaigning activity on this front is set to launch in between nine and 12 months' time.

Future campaigns also include building on existing tie-ins with the Driving Vehicle Licence and Passport agencies, high street chain Boots and local councils.

Last year's campaign to persuade councils to send out organ donor registration forms at the same time as those for voting registration brought on board 41 authorities (PRWeek, 19 July 2002). The aim is to at least double that tally this year.

UK Transplant was created in 2000 following the disbanding of the UK Transplant Support Services Authority. The organisation recruited its first director of communications and public relations, Penny Hallett, over a year ago (PRWeek, 12 October 2001).

Hallett joined from the Avon and Somerset Constabulary, where she was head of communications.

Her early communications work there included running two separate PR campaigns - one targeting the general public on organ donor issues and another aimed specifically at members of the Asian community.

UK Transplant's long-term aim is to boost the current number of 10.3 million donors to 16 million by 2010.

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