AS the NHS Organ Donor Register marks its 25 year milestone, Ayrshire and Arran residents are being encouraged to make their organ donation decision known before the opt-out system comes into force next year.

There have been 1,868 organ donors in Scotland – a third (33 per cent) of which were known to be on the Register – leading to over 6,200 lives being saved or improved.

In Ayrshire and Arran, 43.5 per cent of people are on the NHS Organ Donor Register.

The UK NHS Organ Donor Register allows specialist nurses to quickly and easily check if someone has recorded their donation decision – and the Register will continue to play an important role when the law around organ and tissue donation changes next Autumn.

A sensitive discussion with the family will always take place and any decision registered will be made available to families to help them support what their relative wants.

Everyone has a choice, people are being encouraged to make their organ decision known and importantly talking to their family about what they want.

William Murray, Specialist Nurse in Organ Donation NHS Ayrshire and Arran said: “Organ donation is a precious gift which saves and transforms lives. On this landmark anniversary and ahead of the law changing in Autumn 2020, we’re encouraging people to think about their donation decision and make it known.

“As families are always involved in organ donation discussions, you can make it easier for them by telling them what you would want to happen. We have increasingly seen the value of these conversations in stark reality when talking to a family at the most tragic and awful time for them.

“Everyone has a choice, and they can record their decision on the NHS Organ Donor Register at any time.”