Wednesday 9 July 2014

Setting the Parliamentary Agenda on Transplants

James Barrow, Head of Public Affairs, talks about the success of yesterday's debate on organ donation and transplantation in Westminster Hall.

Yesterday’s parliamentary debate on transplantation was an important moment for our community.  Since the launch of our Hope for More report we have been campaigning to improve access to lung transplantation for people with cystic fibrosis. Some 4,500 supporters emailed politicians from across the UK, asking them to urge the Government to take action and our Public Affairs team has met with over 60 MPs, AMs, MLAs and MSPs to discuss the report. This activity triggered the debate in national transplant week.

During the debate MPs raised the use of extended criteria lungs, the ability of surgeons to downsize lungs and the importance of new technology in preserving and reconditioning lungs. Cystic fibrosis was mentioned no less than 20 times during the 90 minute debate.

NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) is now reviewing its existing lung allocation policy and is modelling a national allocation system.  And the Minister for Public Health, Jane Ellison, has expressed concerned at the number of deaths on the waiting list. NHSBT is set to make an announcement on the outcome of its review in the autumn and we will continue to campaign hard on this issue.

Thank you to everyone who continues to support our campaign – your help has made a real difference.

And thank you to those MPs who took part in the debate: Jim Shannon MP, Margaret Ritchie MP, Caroline Nokes MP, Kerry McCarthy MP, Jason McCartney MP, Glyn Davies MP, Madeleine Moon MP, Kate Green MP , Luciana Berger MP, Jane Ellison MP.

If you missed the debate a full transcript is available here.

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