08:04AM, Friday 11 July 2014
A campaign has been launched by NHS Blood and Transplant encouraging people to 'spell it out' to their families they want to be organ donors if they should die.
A shortage of transplant organs has seen 32 people in Berkshire die during the last five years - and 97 are on the waiting list. 44 people in Bucks died in the same period, while 122 are on the waiting list.
The figures have been released by NHS Blood and Transplant as part of a campaign to encourage people to let family members know they would want to be donors.
It has been launched during National Transplant Week which started on Monday and finishes on Sunday (July7-13).
The aim is to increase awareness that the decision to donate your organs falls to your family if you die - even if you had joined the transplant register.
The service says if you have already talked about it, your family won't have the burden of having to guess what you would have wanted and are more likely to support your decision to donate.
NHS Blood and Transplant is asking people to 'spell out their decision' to donate by joining the NHS organ donor register and by having a conversation with their family.
Celebrities including Olympian Beth Tweddle, Ruth Langsford and Katie Piper have all been photographed spelling out their donation wishes to loved ones and are urging the public to do the same.
Sally Johnson, director of organ donation and transplantation for NHS Blood and Transplant, said: "Last year 41 people living in Berkshire and 36 people living in Buckinghamshire benefited from a life-saving transplant.
"We know that families are much less likely to allow organ donation to go ahead if they don't know it's what their loved one wanted.
"Please have the conversation and spell it out."
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