Date of release: 28 October 2021
Congratulations to Doreen Black, Head of Nursing for Division 1, who has been featured in a national campaign for Black History Month which encourages people of Black heritage to give blood and sign up to the organ donor registry.
There are currently 15,000 people with sickle cell in the UK (a disease that affects red blood cells), which mainly affects people of Black heritage, and many of these require regular blood transfusions. A successful blood transfusion will most likely come from a donor of the same ethnic background.
Organs are matched by blood group and tissue type as well, with some types being more common amongst certain ethnicities. This means that if you are Black, your organ donation decision could increase the chances of someone from the same ethnic background finding a suitable match and receiving a lifesaving transplant.
Unfortunately, the NHS is struggling to meet the current demand, which is why NHS Blood and Transplant have recorded a special video to inspire people from the Black community to come forward to help save and improve lives.
Filmed in London alongside Trinidadian-British newsreader and journalist Trever McDonald, Doreen is one of the ‘community champions’ recognised in the campaign – all relating to her work around promoting equality, diversity and inclusion within healthcare.
As a respected nursing leader, Doreen has been recognised in previous years for actively supporting overseas recruitment at the Trust and for acting as an ambassador for nursing staff. Because of this, she went on to win the NHS Windrush 70 award in the Top Leadership category in 2018.
The Head of Nursing, who was formerly the Trust’s Clinical Haematology Unit matron, and regularly saw patients who were living with sickle cell disease, describes how humbled she felt to be invited to take part in the campaign.
“It was an honour to be asked to feature in this campaign and I really hope it starts those important conversations amongst African and Caribbean communities,” she said.
“We understand there may be hesitancy and certain barriers, but it’s likely that we all know someone who has needed a blood transfusion at some point in their lives – whether that was part of an operation, after giving birth, or through a long-term condition – and it’s important to know that your decision to give blood could positively impact someone you know. It’s the same for organ donation, you never know if a loved one might in need of a transplant one day.
“It’s fantastic that Trevor McDonald is using his high profile to support this important cause.”
Watch the video on YouTube.
Take a moment today to register as a blood donor.
Read more about the campaign on the NHS Blood and Transplant website.