THE NHS is launching a new campaign to boost the number of organ donors after new figures showed that 39 people died waiting for a transplant in the North-East and Yorkshire last year.

The aim of the campaign - launched to coincide with National Transplant Week - is to increase awareness that the decision to donate a loved one’s organs falls to the family if you die in circumstances where you can donate.

If you’ve already talked about it, your family won’t have the burden of having to guess what you would have wanted at an incredibly difficult time and they are more likely to support your decision to donate.

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NHS Blood and Transplant is asking people to spell out their decision to donate by joining the NHS Organ Donor Register and by having a conversation with their family.

On average, three people a day die in need of an organ transplant in the UK because there aren’t enough organs available. More lives would be saved if more families agree to donate their loved one’s organs after death.

Sadly, four out of ten families don’t give permission to donate when approached.

In the North-East 127 people had transplants last year but 31 died waiting before they could be given a donor organ. Another 316 are still waiting .

In North Yorkshire 53 people had transplants last year but eight died waiting. Another 125 are still waiting.

Sally Johnson, director of NHS Blood and Transplant said: “We know that families are much less likely to allow organ donation to go ahead if they don’t know it’s what their loved one wanted.”

To register your organ donation decision go to