NHS Blood and Transplant is urging people to make it clear to family and friends they want to donate organs as they revealed 18 people in Hampshire and 29 people in Dorset died in the last five years due to a shortage of organs.

There are currently 268 people in Hampshire waiting for a transplant and 105 in Dorset.

The figures were revealed during National Transplant Week, when the service is raising awareness of how hard it might be for families to guess what their loved ones would have wanted at a very difficult time.

A service spokesman said: “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.”

Last year 27 people in Dorset and 94 people in Hampshire had a life-saving organ transplant. There are 284,736 people on the organ donor register in Dorset and 623,084 in Hampshire.

For details about National Transplant Week and to register your decision go to www.transplantweek.co.uk.