URGENT calls are put out for people to consider organ donation as figures reveal that more than 70 people in Dorset are set to spend this Christmas on the transplant waiting list.

NHS Blood and Transplant has revealed that, across the whole of the UK, 6,186, are waiting for organ donations,185 of whom are children. A total of 72 of these people are in Dorset.

The organisation is asking people to talk about their decision with their loved ones at Christmas to clarify what they want when they die and potentially help more patients receive lifesaving donations.

Anthony Clarkson, Director of Organ Donation and Transplantation at NHS Blood and Transplant, said: "Christmas is an incredibly busy time of year, however away from the rush and bustle of preparing for the holiday it should also be a time for family and thinking of others.

"We are urging everyone in Dorset to take a moment to think about the people who will spend their Christmas hoping for just one thing; a life saving organ transplant. Would you like to help if you could? If you needed a transplant, would you want someone to donate to you?

"Please let your family know what your organ donation decision is so that we can save more lives. Every precious organ donor allows more families to spend special times together.

"A quick chat can save lives, and we know that even at a time of grief families take enormous comfort and pride from their loved one’s donation."

People and families should also be aware that the law concerning organ donation will change next year.

As of spring 2020 in England and autumn 2020 in Scotland, the system is changing to one in which all adults will be automatically considered to donate their organs unless they either register a decision to opt out or are a member of certain groups not covered under the law.

In England, the exempt groups are: people aged under 18, people deemed to lack the mental capacity to understand the arrangements, people visiting England, people not living here voluntarily, and people who lived in England for under 12 months before they died.

This system has been in place in Wales since December 2015 and in Jersey in July 2019.

For more information about organ donation visit organdonation.nhs.uk