Junior health minister Lord Hunt has launched a scheme with high street retailer Boots to encourage people to become organ donors.

Customers applying for the store's loyalty card will be able to join the NHS organ donor register by ticking a box on their application form. Lord Hunt said he hoped it would add another million donors to the register.

The scheme was launched as the UK Transplant Support Service Authority announced that the number of transplants carried out rose last year while waiting lists fell.

In the year to the end of June, the number of cadaveric organs donated rose 9 per cent to 381, the number of transplants from cadaver donors rose 4 per cent to 1,184, and the number of transplants from living donors rose 3 per cent to 149.