The number of people joining the Organ Donor Register in Wales increased by a massive 62% following the launch of the Kidney Wales Foundation’s Donate Wales Save Sian television campaign in March.

Nearly 4,500 people pledged the gift of life between March 12 and April 9 during which time the advert appeared on Welsh TV screens and online. This compares to just 2,763 people for the same period in 2008, bringing the total number of people registered in Wales to more than 817,000.

Edwina Hart, Minister for Health and Social Services, said: This is excellent news, and supports the feedback from the recent Welsh public debates on organ donation.

Members of the public suggested that publicity should be used to highlight the wait patients on the organ donation waiting list have to suffer. This was reflected in the new advert, and has obviously had a tremendous effect on the public.

I will shortly be publishing a report from the public debate and announcing the launch of a public consultation on options for changes to the organ donation system in Wales.

Since the Donate Wales organ donation campaign was launched by Kidney Wales in May 2008, more than 37,000 people have joined the Organ Donor Register.

The hard-hitting television commercial was funded by a