2014_02 Princes Street view 5

Transplant list shortens

Council offices on the move

Lunchtime concert

Sleeping in Temples

Locanda de Gusti Street Food Night

The number of people waiting for a transplant has fallen to its lowest level since 2006, a report detailing Scotland’s organ donation record has shown.

The average number of people waiting for a transplant has fallen by a quarter in the last seven years – from 793 in 2006/7 to 595 in 2013/14.

The figures, detailed in a ‘report card’ published this week by The Scottish Government, shows marked improvement in nearly all areas of the organ donation process – with donor and transplant numbers up significantly in the last few years.

This is the first time the Scottish Government has published a report card on NHS performance in this area and it is to be widely distributed to staff and patients across the country annually.

It fulfils a commitment made in the Scottish Government’s A Donation and Transplantation Plan for Scotland 2013 – 2020, to publish an annual report card on four or five key national measures on organ donation and transplantation.

The report shows that the number of living and deceased donors rose by almost 60 per cent between 2011/12 and 2013/14 and, over the same period, the number of transplants from living and deceased donors rose from 345 in a year to 425 in a year.

In addition the number of patients referred to the organ donation service has more than doubled in the last three years, meaning more patients who have expressed a wish to donate their organs after death have had those wishes honoured.

Public Health Minister Michael Matheson said: “Over the last few years we have made important strides in raising awareness of the importance of organ donation in Scotland and we have been encouraging more and more people to make their wishes known to friends and family.

“We want Scotland to be amongst the best performing countries in the world for donation and transplantation, and this year’s report shows we are continuing to make excellent progress towards this goal.

“This is thanks to every donor and every donor’s family who have demonstrated such compassion and generosity in the face of tragic and difficult circumstances. It is also testament to the work of staff across the NHS in Scotland who work tirelessly to ensure that people’s organ donation wishes are respected and that every donation counts.”

The publication also highlights the need to increase the number of families who agree for donation to go ahead – which has seen a gradual rise from 57.1 per cent in 2010/11 to 61.6 per cent in 2013/14. Around 90 more lives each year could be saved if this figure rose to 80 per cent.

Mr Matheson added: “This year our public campaign focuses on encouraging people to talk to their friends and family about their decision to donate. Letting those closest to you know your decision makes it easier for them to honour your wishes if they ever need to.”

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Some council services are moving from 1 Cockburn Street on 28 November 2014

Housing and homelessness support – moving to 1A Parliament Square

  • housing advice
  • housing options
  • temporary accommodation
  • support to remain in your own home
  • immigration and asylum support

City Centre & Leith Neighbourhood Office – moving to the Customer Hub, 249 High Street

  • paying Council Tax and rent
  • housing, including bidding on properties through Key to Choice
  • reporting anti-social behaviour or environmental crime
  • parks and green spaces
  • roads issues

These services are currently based at 1 Cockburn Street but the office will be closing on 28 November.

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This Friday 21 November 2014 at 13.10 you can get along to the Reid Concert Hall in Bristo Square to listen to Gordon Bragg on the violin and James Wilshire on piano playing Mozart, Respighi and Bartók. This free concert is part of the University series.

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Susan Tomes is a classical pianist who also writes about performance.

Her new book, Sleeping in Temples, is a collection of personal essays about performing classical music and being a musician. It covers a wide range of topics from ‘what is interpretation?’ to what to wear for concerts, and from the value of long-form music to the link between music and health.

Susan told The Edinburgh Reporter: “I grew up in Edinburgh, lived in London for over 30 years, and recently moved with my husband from London to Edinburgh (a first for him, and ‘back’ for me). Therefore I’m now an Edinburgh-based author and would be delighted if people in Edinburgh got to know about my book. I will be talking about it at the Central Library on 20 January 2015 at 6.30pm.” Put the date in your new 2015 diary now!

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