THOUSANDS more Lothians residents have signed up to donate their organs once they die, figures have shown.
It takes the national total to have joined in the past year to more than 120,000, and means health chiefs are well on their way to achieving a target of 50 per cent sign-up rate across Edinburgh.
The drive has been helped by a more proactive approach by NHS Lothian, which has seen doctors and nurses become braver in their suggesting to patients’ relatives about the possibility of organ donation.
That is the approach used across western Europe, which tends to have higher transplant rates.
Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon said: “Our rate of sign-up to the Organ Donation Register in Scotland has hit an all-time high, with 37.8 per cent of the population now signed up to save a life, compared to the UK average of 30 per cent.
“However, 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.”