NHS seeks to build PR roster

NHS Blood and Transplant is inviting agencies to tender for its first PR roster.

The national organ donation agency is on the hunt for support to raise awareness of the ongoing need for donors and to secure donor loyalty.

The roster is likely to include three agencies and will span three years. Overseeing the roster will be acting director of comms Maxine Walter and national comms manager Rakesh Vasishtha.

Walter said: ‘There is a desperate need for donors in the UK with more than 9,000 people who need donated organs or bone marrow. This contrasts strongly with the 3,000 or so transplants that took place last year.’

Nine out of 10 people agree with the concept of organ donation, but barriers include religious objections and people do not like the thought of being ‘cut open’ after they have died, added Walter.

Potential donors can register on the organ donor ­database and carry an organ donor card. However, one of the most effective moves for donors is to tell their relatives they wish to be a donor.

The roster will become ­effective in March 2008. The incumbent is Trimedia Harrison Cowley, which is repitching.

NHS Blood and Transplant was created in 2005 from the previously separate UK Transplant and The National Blood Service.

The former director of comms and PR Penny Hallett joined the Office for National Statistics last August. The post is under review.

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