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.
As Wales votes on changes to organ donation, ITV News speaks to those for and against the changes.Read the full story ›
As Wales prepares to pass a law which would make it the only UK country which has an opt-out organ donation system, ITV viewers have been giving their views via our Facebook page.
"Personally myself being on dialysis for 28 years I feel organ donation is a fab thing I wonder if people would feel the same if attached to dialysis every other day for 4 hrs at a time."
"Better to opt out than opt in - too few organs around and most people seem to be happy to donate but don't get round to signing a consent form."
"Saving lives should not be optional but just a way of life."
Kidney Wales Foundation has been campaigning for a new organ donation law for five years. The charity's chief executive Roy J Thomas told ITV News that the Human Transplantation Bill was a "progressive piece of legislation" that could bring a new culture of organ donation to Wales.