Wales

Corrie and Pobol y Cwm to have first organ donor move adverts

Still image from the television advert Image copyright Welsh government
Image caption The adverts feature four fictional characters needing a transplant, each bearing a digital countdown

Viewers of Coronation Street and Pobol y Cwm will be the first to see public information films explaining the change in Wales' organ donor rules next year.

From December 2015, Wales will be the first UK nation to introduce a system where people will be presumed to have agreed for their organs to be donated.

The Welsh government hopes that a change in the law will increase transplant rates by 25%.

The adverts are to be broadcast during Monday evening's episodes of the soaps.

They aim to show why the Welsh government says the system needs to be changed to cut the number of deaths of people who are waiting for a transplant.

Ministers say 36 people in Wales died last year while they waited for a transplant organ.

The adverts will run on radio, television and social media in the run up to national transplant week, from 7-13 July.

A mother, a young boy, a lady in her 50s and a young man feature as four fictional individuals with a digital clock counting down the time they have available.

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Media captionThe TV advert marks the start of a campaign to raise awareness about new donor laws in Wales

A second advert, to be screened nearer national transplant week, is a straight forward call for viewers to talk to their loved ones about whether or not they want to be organ donor.

Wales adopts the presumed-consent system on 1 December 2015.

Health Minister Mark Drakeford said: "These prime-time television and radio adverts are a very important element of the campaign going forward.

"The use of the countdown clock is an effective means of highlighting the urgent need for more organ donors each and every single day as a means of saving lives.

'Landmark'

"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."

Currently, people across the UK join a voluntary scheme and carry a card if they wish to donate organs.

Evidence from other countries with an opt-out system indicates that the rise in organ donors is small with about 15 additional donors provided each year and approximately 45 extra organs.

There has been opposition to the scheme but ministers have insisted it will be implemented sensitively.

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