DORSET residents are being urged to speak to their families about organ donation to help increase the number of transplants available and save more lives.

This week is Organ Donation Week and, to mark the occasion, NHS Blood and Transplant is trying increase the number of people whose lives can be saved or transformed by an organ transplant.

Last year, 41 people in Dorset had their lives saved by a transplant. If more people agreed to donate, more lives would be saved in Dorset and around the country. Currently, many in Dorset are still waiting for that life-saving call.

Earlier this year, the law around organ donation in England changed to an ‘opt out’ system. This means that it will be considered that you would be willing to donate your organs unless you have opted out, are in one of the excluded groups or have told your family you do not want to donate.

However, family members will still be consulted before organ donation goes ahead so NHS Blood and Transplant is urging families across England to talk about their organ donation decision. If your relatives know what your decision regarding organ donations is going to be, this will help them make the decision during a difficult time.

Anthony Clarkson, Director of Organ Donation and Transplantation for NHS Blood and Transplant said: “We need more people in Dorset to talk about organ donation to increase the number of lifesaving transplants.

“Even now the law has changed, families will still be approached before organ donation goes ahead. So it remains so important to talk to your families and make sure they know what you want to happen.

“Register your organ donation decision on the NHS Organ Donor Register and tell your family the choice you have made. If the time comes, we know families find the organ donation conversation with nurses or medical teams much easier if they already know what their relative wanted.”

Anyone can join the NHS Organ Donor Register, age and medical conditions are not necessarily a barrier to donation.

Find out more and register your decision by visiting NHS Organ Donor Register at and share your decision with your family. You can also call 0300 123 23 23.