NHS Blood & Transplant signs comms boss for donor drive

NHS Blood & Transplant (NHSBT) has appointed a director of communications and public affairs as the body strives to increase the number of organ donors.

Leonie Austin: new appointment
Leonie Austin: new appointment

Leonie Austin joins from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, where she has been director of comms for the past five years.

She will take up her position on 1 April.

Austin was previously Cabinet Office director of comms and has worked in various comms roles across Whitehall, including the Highways Agency, Department for Trade and Industry and the Food Standards Agency.

NHSBT, a special health authority within the National Health Service, is currently leading a campaign to increase the size of the Organ Donor Register (ODR), while also promoting blood donation.

Austin said: 'I want to build on the achievements so far, increase the number of people on the NHS Organ Donor Register and ensure a steady stream of people giving blood.'

NHSBT is aiming to register 25 million people on the ODR by 2013 and has approximately 1.5 million people registered to give blood.

Austin will be a member of the NHSBT executive team led by chief executive Lynda Hamlyn, and will oversee a department of about 35.

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