The UK is covered by 12 regional organ donation teams, allied to which are 12 regional organ donation collaboratives. The Collaboratives are led by a regional manager and a regional clinical lead, and provide a forum in which local donation leads (both clinical leads and committee chairs) can meet with their specialist nurse teams and colleagues from retrieval and transplantation. The Collaboratives meet three to four times annually and are expected to be the focal point for the local implementation, monitoring and assessment of new and existing strategies to support all aspects of organ donation. They are the primary source of support for hospital Donation Committees, and are in turn supported by the National Donation Committee and the Directorate of Organ Donation and Transplantation at NHS Blood and Transplant. For further details of the 12 regional collaboratives, click on the links in the left hand column.
Hospital Donation Committees
The Organ Donation Taskforce proposed that every acute hospital should have a clinical lead for organ donation who would work collaboratively with an assigned specialist nurse for organ donation and be supported by a hospital Donation Committee. Nearly all hospital Trusts and Health Boards now have such committees, with their key roles being
- Annual planning and reporting (both internally to the hospital executive, but also externally to NHSBT)
- Development and implementation of policies relating to organ donation that are in line with current national guidance
- Raising the profile of organ donation within the hospital and promotion of the role of the specialist nurse for organ donation
- Supporting the Potential Donor Audit, both in terms of data collection and also review of local data
- Design and delivery of local education and training programmes
- Local promotion of organ donation and transplantation
- Recognition of local donors and their families
Sample Hospital Donation Committee Terms of Reference
- To influence policy and practice in order to ensure that organ donation is considered in all appropriate situations.
- To identify and resolve any obstacles to this.
- To ensure that a discussion about donation features in all end of life care, wherever located and wherever appropriate, recognising and respecting the wishes of individuals.
- To maximise the overall number of organs donated, through better support to potential donors and their families.
To ensure the purpose is achieved, the Committee is responsible for the following:
- To lead on donation policy and practice across the hospital/Trust, to raise awareness, and to ensure that donation is accepted and viewed as usual, not unusual. To maximise organ donation.
- To ensure local policies and all operational aspects of donation are reviewed, developed and implemented in line with current and future national guidelines and policies.
- To monitor donation activity from all areas of the hospital - primarily from Critical Care areas, including Emergency Medicine. Rates of donor identification, referral, approach to the family and consent to donation will be collected through the UK Transplant Potential Donor Audit including patient ethnicity data. To ensure submission of the data to NHSBT on an agreed basis and to receive and analyse comparative data from other hospitals.
- To report to the Medical Director not less than quarterly, and to the Board not less than six monthly, on comparative donation activity and any remedial action required.
- To participate in all relevant national audit processes; to review audit data on donation activity; to monitor standards, test adherence to local policy and instigate any required actions.
- To actively promote communication about donation activity to all appropriate areas of the hospital and to ensure that the information is received and understood.
- To ensure a discussion about donation features in all end of life care wherever appropriate and to ensure this is reflected in the local end of life policies, procedures and pathways.
- To support the Specialist Nurse – Organ Donation and Clinical Lead for Organ Donation.
- To identify and ensure delivery of educational programmes to meet recognised training needs.
Donation committee chair
Clinical lead for organ donation
Specialist nurse for organ donation
Medical and nursing representatives from Critical Care
Representative from Emergency Medicine
Representative from Operating Theatres
Representative of transplantation-related specialty
Senior nurse (or deputy, e.g. matron, Divisional Nurse)
Medical Director (or deputy, e.g. Divisional Medical Director)
Chief Executive (or deputy, e.g. Directorate General Manager)
End of life care lead
Service improvement / practice development
Lay member(s) (e.g. donor family member, recipient)
- Donation Committee Handbook
- Change management slide decks from the Professional Development Programme
- Donor Identification and Referral Strategy
- Strategy Document
- Collaborative slide deck