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Wales organ donor ads to be aired

THE first in a series of public information television, radio and digital adverts about the new organ donation legislation in Wales will be broadcast from today.

The television adverts will be aired during episodes of ITV Wales’ Coronation Street and S4C’s Pobol y Cwm. They will continue across radio, television and social media in the run up to national transplant week which takes place from July 7 to 13.

The inspiration for the adverts, which kick-start the next phase of the Welsh Government’s It’s Time to Talk campaign, is the fact 36 people died in Wales last year while waiting for a suitable donor organ to become available.

This new wave of publicity is part of the wider communications campaign to raise awareness and understanding of the new organ donation legislation, which will come into force in Wales on December 1, 2015.

The move to deemed consent in Wales is designed to increase in the number of potential organ donors and ultimately increase the number of organs available for transplant.

Under the new system, a person will become a donor either by registering a decision to opt in – as they do currently – or by doing nothing at all, in which case their consent may be deemed.

The first advert features a digital countdown clock and four fictional individuals – a mother, young boy, a lady in her 50s and a young man. The countdown depicts the agonising wait individuals often face hoping for a transplant while also reinforcing time ticking away for those in need of an organ to survive.

A second advert, which will be broadcast closer to national transplant week, is a straight forward call for people watching at home to start a conversation with their loved ones about whether or not they want to be organ donor, and the options available to them from December 1, 2015 when the law changes in Wales.

The launch of the latest phase of the advertising campaign is supported by new social media channels and a Facebook app dedicated to organ donation in Wales.

The bilingual twitter account, @OrgDonationCYM, and the organ donation Wales Facebook page will provide the latest information about the soft opt-out legislation. Both will be updated daily and will act as forums for questions about the forthcoming change in Wales while also providing facts about organ donation in general.

The Facebook app, which is free to download, has been designed with choice in mind and is prompted by a mixture of fun and serious “would you rather” examples from daily life.

Health Minister Mark Drakeford said: “I hope the adverts will also prompt those watching at home to talk with their loved ones about their organ donation wishes as we prepare for December 2015 and the introduction of this landmark law in Wales.”

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