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Role of Retrieval Team

National Organ Retrieval Service (NORS) teams are made up of highly skilled healthcare professionals, and are led by a surgeon who has been signed off as competent to safely lead a retrieval. The lead surgeon is assisted by an individual who has been deemed competent to act as first assistant working under the direct supervision of the lead surgeon.

The NORS teams are supported by registered healthcare professionals who are fully competent in the perfusion and preservation of retrieved organs, and scrub practitioners who have experience in elective and emergency surgery. Both provide expert assistance to the surgical team.

The healthcare professionals who undertake NORS perioperative roles undergo competency based training following an agreed national curriculum which includes e-learning, face to face education and mentored practice. Final competence is assessed and signed off by the local NORS perioperative lead.

These professionals frequently work unsocial hours in unfamiliar environments at the donor hospitals, and are integral in the safe retrieval of high quality organs.

A database of fully competent retrieval practitioners will be held by NHS Blood and Transplant.