Scotland politics

Number of Scots on Organ Donor Register hits record high

Surgeons
There has been an increase in the number of organ transplants

The number of people in Scotland who have signed up to be organ donors has reached a record high of more than two million, the government has said.

A total of 2,025,400 people had put their names forward for the NHS Organ Donor Register as of 31 March - almost 40% of the population.

However, 600 people are still awaiting life-saving transplants and ministers said more work was needed.

Three people in the UK die every day because of a lack of access to organs.

The Scottish government also said the number of people who died while waiting for organs fell from 38 in 2010-11 to 36 in 2011-12.

It said the number of transplants involving "solid organs", like hearts and livers, hit a new high of 342 in 2011-12, compared with 301 in 2010-11.

Scottish Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon, said: "It is a fantastic achievement that we have passed the two million mark.

"However, we know that there is still more to be done.

"The tragic fact is that more than 600 people in Scotland are still waiting for a life-saving transplant and across the UK three people die every day because they don't get the organ they need in time."

Ms Sturgeon added: "Signing up to the register takes a couple of minutes, but could mean the difference between life and death for those waiting for a transplant."

The health secretary said she would be writing to everyone involved in organ donation and transplantation across Scotland, thanking them for their hard work.

Across the UK, the number of people on the organ donation register stands at 30%.

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