The NHS have revealed that 76 people in Surrey died because of the shortage of organs over the past 10 years.

NHS Blood and Transplant released the death figures as part of Organ Donation Week from September 4 to 10 to help people realise they can save lives.

Currently there are 87 people in Surrey who are on the waiting list for a transplant and they will only receive that life changing call if people make sure their families know they want to be a donor.

Anthony Clarkson, assistant director of organ donation and transplantation for NHS blood and transplant, said: “It’s a tragedy that people are dying unnecessarily every year in Surrey waiting for transplants.

“We know that if everyone who supported donation talked about it and agreed to donate, most of those lives would be saved.

“This Organ Donation Week, tell your family you want to save lives. A few words now can make an extraordinary difference. It will also make things much easier for your family to make the right decision.”

Hundreds of life-saving transplants are missed each year because families are unaware of relative’s intentions and often decide it is safer to no.

Mr Clarkson added: “If you want to save lives, don’t leave it too late to talk to your family. In Surrey there are more than 489,000 people on the NHS Organ Donor Register. However if you want to be a donor, your family’s support is still needed for donation to go ahead.

“If you are unsure about donation, please ask yourselves as a family; what would you do if one of you needed a transplant? Would you accept a life-saving organ? If you’d take an organ, shouldn’t you be prepared to donate?”

NHS Blood and Transplant surveys show more than 80 per cent of people support organ donation but only around 49 per cent of people have ever talked about it with 30 per cent of women being more likely than men to raise the subject.

Research has revealed that families who agree to donate say it helps with their grief and that they feel enormous sense of pride at knowing their relative gave others the chance of a new beginning.

NHS Blood and Transplant wants everyone in Surrey to be able to save lives through organ donation and not be prevented from doing so because they have not told a relative their decision.