Thousands of people are signing up to be organ donors, but campaigners believe there is still much to be done.

Almost 4,000 people registered as donors in Harrow last year, contributing to the 1.2 million people nationally who put their name on the list.

But statistics show that London, in general, is lagging behind the rest of the country, with just 29 per cent of people on the NHS Organ Donor Register (ODR).

This compares to 36 per cent nationally and campaigners are encouraging people to talk openly about organ donation in a bid to smoothen the process of signing up.

The NHS Blood and Transplant department has launched the ‘Words Save Lives’ programme, which promotes discussions among family members about any intentions to donate.

Sally Johnson, director of organ donation at the department, said: “Thousands of people across London are given a second chance at life thanks to the organ transplants they receive.

“This is only possible thanks to those who put other people first, sign the NHS Organ Donor Register and let their families know they want them to agree to organ donation at the most distressing time in their life.

“There are 6,342 people in the UK waiting for lifesaving organ transplants right now so we really need everyone to discuss organ donation.

“Make sure your family knows that you want to donate if you are ever able to. A few words now can make an extraordinary difference.”

The organisation is appealing to people across London and the surrounding areas to make 2018 a year to talk openly about organ donation with their families, tell them their decision and join the ODR if they want to save lives.

It explained that joining the register is important – it helps make the conversation with families easier if your name is on there, but it doesn’t automatically mean you will be a donor.

You still need to have the conversation with those closest to you and tell them you want to donate so they support your decision to do so if your organs can be used to help others when you die.

Visit to join the ODR. Those registering are reminded to tell their family they want to donate.