A NEW campaign aims to encourage people to make a new year resolution to become a lifesaver.

It is estimated that around half of all residents in Renfrewshire and East Renfrewshire are already on the Organ Donor Register.

However, with 550 people in Scotland still waiting for a transplant, efforts are being made to convince more people to sign up.

Joe FitzPatrick, the Scottish Government’s public health minister, said: “I would encourage people to consider making it their new year’s resolution to join the donor register.

“One donor can save up to nine lives and transform even more by donating tissue.”

Official statistics from the NHS show the number of people in Scotland registered as organ donors is at a record high, with 148,000 new registrations from people willing to be donors in 2018.

It brings the total number of people registered in Scotland to almost 2.8 million.

Last year, 829 people in Scotland received a transplant but the Scottish Government has proposed measures to increase the number of potential donors.

Legislation has been under consideration at the Scottish Parliament which would see the country move to a soft opt-out system for organ and tissue donation.

The Gazette: Public Health Minister Joe FitzPatrick said Government action is planned

Joe FitzPatrick 

It would mean that consent for donation is presumed, unless it is otherwise stated.

Wales introduced a similar scheme in December 2015, whilst MPs have also backed plans to change the law in England.

Mr FitzPatrick said: “Thanks to the generosity of donors and their families and the work of the NHS, we’ve seen great progress on organ donation over the last few years.

“The move to a soft opt-out scheme aims to further increase the number of donors, while also honouring the donation decision that a person has made in life.”