HAMPSHIRE residents are being urged to support organ donation as figures show the number of people spending Christmas on the national heart transplant waiting list is 24% up on last Christmas.

Nationally, there are currently 298 people on the waiting list for a heart transplant compared to 240 people last Christmas.

In Hampshire there are currently 8 people on the heart transplant waiting list, NHS Blood and Transplant is urging people to tell their families they wish to donate to help with the deadly shortage of organs.

The NHS have said that since last Christmas Day, 31 people across the country have died while on the waiting list for a heart transplant.

Sally Johnson, NHS Blood and Transplant Director of Organ Donation and Transplantation said: “Hundreds of people are spending Christmas waiting for a call that might never come.

“Their families will be spending the festive period living with fear and uncertainty.”