IT is heartening that the number of organ donors in the Bradford district has risen by a fifth in five years with more than 140,000 people now registered.

But there is absolutely no room for complacency as more donors are still desperately needed, particularly among those with black and ethnic minority backgrounds.

NHS Blood and Transplant continually has to make appeals for people to consider becoming organ donors as there are about 6,400 patients across the UK waiting for a transplant of which an average of three a day will die before a suitable donor becomes available.

Medical advances also mean that the number of people whose lives could be saved by transplants is rising more rapidly than the number of willing donors.

In view of this it is surely time for England to follow a decision made by the Welsh parliament to introduce a system of automatic organ donation with a clearly explained opt-out for those who expressly do not wish to do so.

Since it was introduced about 18 months ago the Welsh system has seen donations go up by a third and such is its success that late last year the Scottish government started a public consultation with a view to following suit.

The British Medical Association is also lobbying strongly for automatic organ donation to be introduced across the UK, pointing to the fact that Britain has one of the lowest rates of consent in Europe.

To have different systems in place depending where you live in the UK is clearly an unnecessary and unacceptable postcode lottery when lives are at stake.