AN organ transplant recipient has welcomed an increase in people signing up to the national donation register after a TV documentary shone a spotlight on the practice.

Stephen Hancock, from Bootle near Millom, received a kidney in 2017 and now campaigns to get more people to sign-up to the organ donor register.

More than 1,300 people signed up to the register following an episode of the BBC Two documentary Hospital.

NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) said it saw a surge in interest during and after Thursday night's show.

The episode followed patients in two Liverpool hospitals, including some waiting for transplants and a pregnant mother who wanted to donate tissues from one of her twins who would die shortly after birth.

A total of 1,391 people signed up as organ donors between 9pm and 11pm on Thursday evening, compared with 60 in the same period on Wednesday, NHSBT said.

Mr Hancock, 57, said: "Organ donation really is the gift of life.

"The show really captured the emotion of organ donation and showed the effect it has on people.

"There is nothing like being told you are going to die and then getting news of the transplant and seeing the look on your loved ones faces when you are not."

Andrea Ttofa, head of organ donation marketing for NHSBT, said: "We're delighted that BBC Hospital inspired so many people to sign up as organ donors.

"We know personal stories of donation and transplantation are extremely powerful and prompt people to sign up to save lives.

"We would urge everyone to tell their family they want to be an organ donor to ensure their family honour this decision."

Around 6,000 people in the UK are said to be currently waiting for a transplant.

Statistics showed that last year more than 400 people died in the UK waiting for a transplant.

The Government has indicated that an opt-out system of organ donation is expected to be in place in England by April 2020.

It would mean everyone is considered a potential donor unless they specify otherwise.