There has been a "huge failure" to boost organ donation rates among black, Asian and other ethnic minority groups, an expert has said.
The UK should now consider a scheme where priority for surgery is given to people already on the organ donor register, according to Dr Adnan Sharif, a kidney consultant at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham.
Figures show that ethnic minorities make up 10.8% of the UK population yet represent 24% of the organ waiting list.
Just 4.2% of organ donors are from minority ethnic backgrounds and there are only around 118,000 people registered from these backgrounds to give an organ after their death, Dr Sharif wrote online in the British Medical Journal (BMJ).
The number of organ transplants carried out in the UK has reached a record high, figures show.
Vincenzo Avanzato spent 13 weeks on an urgent list awaiting an organ. To help pass the time he sang Italian arias daily, even while being wheeled to the operating theatre for his transplant last Christmas.
In July, ITV News' Medical Editor Lawrence McGinty spoke to Matthew Green who is looking to the future now his artificial heart implant has been replaced with a donated human one.
Family refusal is the biggest obstacle to increasing the number of organs donated on the NHS every year, a health chief said.
Despite a record year for organ transplants, patients are still dying because potential candidates for donation are not registering.
These donations ensured that for the eighth year in succession, the number of people benefiting from an organ transplant increased.
But although we have seen year-on-year increases in activity, the UK can and must do more to save and improve lives through organ donation and transplantation, and family refusal is now our biggest problem.
An organ donation expert has expressed his joy at the record high number of transplant operations carried out in the UK during 2012-13.
It is very gratifying to note that we have performed over 4,000 transplants in 2012/13 for the first time ever in a single year.
This builds on the sustained effort of many people to successfully achieve the target of a 50 percent increase in deceased donors in five years set by the Organ Donation Taskforce.
Thousands of people remain on the waiting list, with around three a day dying while waiting for an organ, according to NHS Blood and Transplant.
- At the end of March, there were 7,332 patients waiting for a transplant.
- A further 3,030 temporarily suspended from transplant lists for reasons including being too ill to undergo an operation.
- 466 patients died while on the active waiting list for a transplant.
- Although the vast majority of living organ donors gave a kidney, 33 donated part of their liver, the report said.
- The number of corneas donated in 2012/13 was 6,390 - a 9 percent rise on last year.
- More than four out of 10 families approached about organ donation last year refused to donate.
Organ transplants have reached a record high in the UK, it has emerged.
The number of operations rose by 6 percent since last year, with 4,212 transplants carried out according to a report from NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT).
Approximately a quarter (1,101) of donations were from living people giving a kidney or part of their liver. The rest (3,111) involved organs donated after a person's death.
The Welsh Assembly has voted for a change in the law to try and save the lives of those who die while they wait for a transplant organ.Read the full story ›
Wales will become the first country in the UK where people will be presumed to have consented for their organs to be donated unless they opt out - after Assembly Members tonight voted in favour of the new law by 43 votes to eight with two abstentions.
Wales could become the only UK country with an opt-out organ donation system if politicians vote to change the law.
Welsh Assembly members will meet in Cardiff to discuss the proposals later today.
ITV News Correspondent Richard Pallot reports.