More than 60 per cent of people in Swindon have not signed up to the organ donation register, it has been revealed.

The figures have been released by NHS Blood and Transplant to mark Organ Donation Week, which is this week.

They show that nine people in Swindon have died while waiting for an organ in the last five years.There are currently around 20 people on the waiting list, while 29 residents received transplants last year.

NHSBT says the failure of prospective donors to sign the register or inform their families of their wishes is posing an obstacle to life-saving transplants going ahead.

This “fatal complacency” means that a family may refuse to give their consent even if their loved one was happy for their organs to be used.

Just 38 per cent of people in Swindon had signed up as a donor as of May this year, based on the latest population estimates.

This figure includes every age group, from infants to the elderly, all of whom are able to join the register.

Anthony Clarkson, interim director of organ donation and transplantation at NHSBT, said: “We don’t want people to die because of a fatal complacency.

“People are living moment to moment, in desperate need of someone saying ‘yes’ to donation.

“We all know that organ donation legislation will change in England and Scotland in future years but the harsh fact is people are dying right now waiting for an organ and it will still be important for people to know your decision.”