Support for the opt-out system of organ donation in Wales has increased in the two years it has been in place, a study has found.

An evaluation of the Human Transplantation (Wales) Act found the public and NHS staff are now more in favour of the system.

Before implementation, 71 per cent of staff said there were in favour of the change in legislation, increasing to 85 per cent afterwards.

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The percentage of families giving consent for donation rose from 44.4 per cent in 2014 to 64.5 per cent in 2017.

More than half of people involved in the 2017 study said they had discussed their organ donation wishes with a family member. This was about 40 per cent between 2012 and 2015.

The opt-out system is about to be adopted in Scotland with a new law expected to be passed next year.

Vaughan Gething, the Welsh health secretary, said he welcomed the findings of the study.

He said: “I’m delighted that in the first two quarters of this year, our consent rate reached 72 per cent putting us second in the UK, with 39 per cent of the Welsh population registering as organ donors.

“While this is not reflected in a rise in donors overall, this may be because there have been fewer eligible donors over the short period since the change in law.

“We must work harder to further increase organ donation levels.”