Only one in three people on organ donation register in Harborough area

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Only about one in three people in Harborough have signed up to the organ donation register, it has been revealed.

The figures were been released by NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) to mark Organ Donation Week (4-9 September).

They show that five people in the Harborough area are currently on the waiting list for a new organ.

NHSBT says the failure of prospective donors to sign the register or inform their families of their wishes is posing an obstacle to life-saving transplants going ahead.

This “fatal complacency” means that a family may refuse to give their consent even if their loved one was happy for their organs to be used.

Just 34 per cent of people in Harborough had signed up as a donor as of May this year, based on the latest population estimates.

This is less than the average for the UK as whole - which stands at about 40 per cent of eligible people on the register.

This figure includes every age group, from infants to the elderly, all of whom are able to join the register.

Scotland, England and Northern Ireland all currently use an opt-in system, under which people can elect to register as a donor.

But both Scotland and England are planning to follow Wales’ example and move to an opt-out system in the coming years.

However, the NHSBT figures reveal wide variations between local authority areas, ranging from just 16 per cent in areas such as Harlow and Newham up to a high of 83 per cent in Dorset.