BAME Blood, Stem Cell and Organ Donation — [Sir Henry Bellingham in the Chair]

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 4:16 pm on 27 June 2018.

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Photo of Jackie Doyle-Price Jackie Doyle-Price The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care 4:16, 27 June 2018

That is a point well made. It is the same for blood, of course—donors do not have to die to give blood. People who give blood do so regularly because they get into the habit and it has become normal. Perhaps we need to do a lot more about stem cell transplants.

I am particularly moved to be having this debate today because only this weekend I lost a very good friend of mine to lymphoma at the age of 47. That brings home how cancer and illness can kill people at a very young age. It will be in honour of my dear friend David Furze that I will do something to reboot stem cell donation.

On the barriers to more donation, some have serious concerns about faith and religious beliefs. Tackling those concerns is a big challenge for us in Government, because of the element of trust. The hon. Member for Bedford mentioned that quite often people do not trust medical professionals, but they trust Government even less. We must find innovative ways of getting that message out. We need the right messengers. Dare I say, the people in this room are among the right messengers? Most of us have respect in our communities and are able to show leadership in our communities. We can go out, speak, raise awareness and encourage donation. I have given NHSBT the challenge to do exactly that.