UK Transplant targets motorists in organ search

UK Transplant, the authority that runs the NHS Organ Donor Register, is targeting six million motorists in a bid to increase organ donation.

This week it launches Leave More Than Memories, a pilot scheme that will run in association with the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA).

DVLA will begin sending organ donation registration forms to vehicle

owners with vehicle tax reminders this week and again in March.

A media campaign to support the scheme will be handled in-house. The first stage will include publicity in the transport press to encourage fleet managers and transport unions to promote organ donation to their staff and members, said UK Transplant director of communications Penny Hallett.

Radio PR firm Markettiers4DC, which works for the authority on projects, is to handle pre-recorded and live radio interviews.

Almost five million motorists have signed up to the NHS Organ Donor Register by ticking the box on their driving licence application form, which is now the main source of registrations.

Hallett said the success of the pilot campaign would decide whether it is expanded to target all 36 million UK motorists at a later date. ‘It’s primarily about getting people to talk about the issue with their loved ones, and then moving on to registering for organ donation,’ he said.

More than half of the people on the NHS Organ Donor Register are between 15 and 34 years old when they join.

The Government has pledged to increase the number of people registered from its current 11 million to 16 million by 2010, due to a chronic shortage of donors.

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