A nurse at King’s College Hospital who has been instrumental in signing up more black and ethnic minority (BAME) organ donors has been awarded a British Empire Medal.
Agimol Pradeep, from Ashford in Kent, has worked as a liver transplant coordinator at King’s for three years.
She says: “Asian people and those from other ethnic minorities are over-represented on the transplant waiting list – because they are more prone to conditions that may lead to them needing a transplant.
“However, there are fewer people from BAME communities who donate their organs.
“Transplants tend to be more successful if there is a tissue match and this is more likely if the organ comes from someone who is a similar ethnicity.
“It means that patients from ethnic minorities tend to wait longer for a transplant.
“A lot those I talked to started thinking that they were being discriminated against, because they would see a white patient getting a transplant before them.
“But I knew there wasn’t any discrimination involved and I didn’t want those patients to blame the NHS in this way – I am really proud to work for the NHS, it’s such a blessing.
“I felt it was my duty to encourage people in BAME communities to join the organ donor register and to talk about that decision with their families so that more organs might become available for the patients who need them.
“I still go out whenever I can,” she said. “I don’t mind – my family is very supportive and it’s my passion and I know it is helping to save lives.”
Agimol will be invited to a ceremony in Kent to receive her medal, and will then be invited to a garden party at Buckingham Palace.