Kidney Wales Foundation established in 1967 and celebrating 40 years of working for kidney patients and families today submitted the first petition to the National Assembly for Wales and Presiding Officer Lord Dafydd Elis Thomas by an organisation calling on Wales to increase organ donor registrations.

There is an increasing need for kidney transplants in Wales but a desperate shortage of kidneys. Only 22% of the eligible population in Wales is registered on the NHS Organ donor register. 70% of the Welsh population has indicated that they would be prepared to be involved in such a scheme.

So Kidney Wales is back to its old ways as 20 years ago it petitioned the then Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher to include details of the then new computerised Lifeline Wales donor register with driving licenses .The petition was a success and the DVLA was instructed to do it from No 10. This practice still exists and has been copied the world over- particularly in the USA.

“I am delighted to accept this petition from Kidney Wales . It’s very pleasing that we are receiving Petitions under our new system and the Petitions Committee has been set up to look at petitions and decide how to proceed with them. For the first time, members of the public and organisations/charities such as Kidney Wales will not only be able to petition the National Assembly and ask for action to be taken in those areas of policy for which the Assembly is responsible, but the Assembly will be required to act on the petition, if it is within the powers of the Assembly. We are also carrying out an open consultation to invite people to give their ideas about how we can make this new system work best. We want it to be open, responsive, efficient and effective, and I urge people to look at our website and respond to the consultation.” Lord Dafydd Elis-Thomas, Presiding Officer, National Assembly for Wales.

Another first in the UK is New Kidney Wales ambassador Allison John from West Wales who spoke of her own heart, lung ,liver and recent kidney transplant and the need for organ donation in stated “ I urge the people of Wales to register on the NHS organ donor register. My kidney transplant from my father 8 months ago saved me from dialysis and has given me a new lease of life”.

Allison added “A united campaign is needed with the National Assembly and excellent organisations like Kidney Wales”

Raj Aggarwal OBE a Trustee of Kidney Wales said “Allison was the first person in the UK to have all four separate transplants and is an inspiration. Kidney Wales was the first charity and body in the UK to pioneer the computer on line organ register. We are petioning the Assembly under this new process to heighten awareness and to continue our long traditions of giving new lives to renal patients’ .We are proud to be the first charity in Wales to petition the Assembly”. He added “we are looking to the Assembly to focus on this important issue”.