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Medical Director Bulletin

Monthly communication from the ODT Medical Director

August 2019

Message from Professor John Forsythe

Professor John Forsythe gives a presentation

Dear All,

This month, there are three major announcements.

First, there is a major opportunity for new research in organ donation and transplantation as a call in this area from the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) has just been announced.

For more information, please visit the NIHR website

Secondly, I am delighted to announce that Tracey Rees has been appointed to take over from Sue Fuggle as the Chief Scientific Officer for ODT. Many of you will know Tracey as an experienced figure in the Histocompatibility and Immunogenetics (H&I) community with knowledge of senior roles in professional representation and service management. I am delighted that Tracey has agreed to take up this role, and her reaction to this is as follows.

Tracey Rees, Chief Scientific Officer for ODT"I am delighted to have been appointed as the Chief Scientific Officer and to be able to contribute to the national programme which is committed to world-class performance in organ donation and transplantation.  A considerable amount of work and energy has already been invested in realising the vision of the 2020 strategies, and I look forward to supporting the completion of the outstanding projects and working with the wider community  to identify and progress the next phase of continuing improvement." - Tracey Rees, Chief Scientific Officer for ODT

Thirdly, much work goes on behind the scenes in ODT, often with senior, invaluable clinical and patient representative or lay input. One good example is the Monitoring Committee for the National Liver Offering Scheme. This group, under the Chairmanship of Mark Hudson, has just reviewed the 15 month data from the scheme. Mark’s comments are below.

The National Liver Offering Scheme Monitoring Group 

Mark Hudson, Chair of the National Liver Offering Scheme Monitoring GroupThe National Liver Offering Scheme (NLOS) Monitoring Group was established in 2018 prior to the launch of the scheme on 20th March. The monitoring group has wide representation and expertise including hepatologists from both transplant and non- transplant centres, a liver transplant surgeon, coordinator, lay and patient group representatives, ODT Hub and a liaison member of the Liver advisory “core” group with statistical support from NHSBT. We report and liaise directly with the Chair of the Liver advisory Group (LAG) and the Associate Medical Director of NHSBT regarding any objective evidence raising concerns about the scheme.

It is our agreed role to independently and objectively monitor the consequences of the NLOS implementation. We receive reports every 3 months updating specifically waiting list activity, liver offering (including fast track), transplant activity and outcomes. This includes all patients listed for chronic liver disease, hepatocellular carcinoma and those in the proportional (variant syndrome) allocation group. Each report is discussed in detail either by teleconference or a face to face meeting. The activity of the monitoring group is only possible because of the hard work and support of Rhiannon Taylor and the statistics team at NHSBT, often being asked at short notice to provide additional information as indicated from the reports. A summary is produced after each meeting and a formal report presented at the biannual Liver Advisory group meetings.

Mark Hudson
Chair NLOS Monitoring group

Council of Europe Guide to the Quality and Safety of Organs for Transplantation

The 7th Edition of the Council of Europe Guide to the Quality and Safety of Organs for Transplantation is now available. The electronic version of this Guide can be downloaded free of charge from Freepub website of the European Directorate for the Quality of Medicines and Healthcare (EDQM).



Professor John Forsythe

Associate Medical Director of ODT

Update from Katie Morley, Lead Nurse Recipient Coordinator, NHS Blood and Transplant

Katie Morley

This month has been about gaining insight for me.

Many thanks to the Eastern SNOD team who facilitated me spending an on-call shift with them. Even though I have worked in transplantation for 8 years I have never shadowed a SNOD and it was very humbling experience to spend time with them. Hopefully in the coming months I will be working with other teams to establish an exchange program between SNODs and Recipient Co-ordinator’s. I would encourage Recipient Co-ordinators from all degrees of experience to take up this opportunity as sometimes we become victims of our own expertise in our working methods.

I was welcomed onto the Influencing Behaviours training delivered during the SNOD cohort training program. Heart-warming stories were shared as well as collaborative ideas for the future.  It was a great opportunity to work with a wonderful group of people who I wish the very best of luck to as they embark upon a career in organ donation. Although some would excel in marketing, watch out for the next advert promoting the role of the SNOD!

The Bereavement workshop delivered last month received outstandingly positive and constructive feedback. In response to this I shall be working with the Education Team to develop and deliver a bespoke bereavement workshop aimed solely at Recipient Co-ordinator’s. Hopefully we will aim to offer the next workshop this autumn and then roll the program out so that this opportunity is available every 6 months.

Email Katie Morley: katie.morley@nhsbt.nhs.uk

Invitation to apply for funds to promote organ donation  

We have opened a call for funding applications to help organisations promote deceased organ donation among black, Asian, mixed race and minority ethnic communities.

We are looking for applications that will deliver projects to reach black, Asian, mixed race and minority ethnic communities and/or engage people around their faith/beliefs.

Organisations applying for funds can apply for one of two options; funds up to £2,499 or between £2,500 - £10,000. The deadline for applications is 5pm on Monday 1 September 2019.

You can find out all the information you need about the scheme, application process, judging process, current attitudes towards organ donation among black and Asian communities, and what is expected in terms of project evaluation on the black, Asian and minority ethnic funding call page on the NHSBT website

The Department of Health and Social Care’s (DHSC) secondary consultation

The Department of Health and Social Care’s (DHSC) secondary consultation has closed with over 3,000 responses. The DHSC will be reviewing the responses received and we anticipate that they will provide a Government response to the consultation in advance of the legislation being debated in Parliament in the coming months. Thanks to all those who responded to the consultation.

Scotland organ donation law achieves Royal Assent 

Legislation to introduce an opt-out system of organ and tissue donation for deceased donors in Scotland will come into force in Autumn 2020.

Under the new law, all adults in Scotland will be considered to be potential organ donors when they die unless they had recorded a decision not to donate.  The new law will be implemented following a public awareness campaign of at least 12 months which will provide more information about what the changes mean and what choices people will have.

Human Tissue Authority (HTA) consultation

A reminder that the HTA’s 12-week consultation will be open until 5pm on Thursday 26 September 2019.

The HTA are consulting on changes to Code of Practice F: Donation of solid organs and tissue for transplantation to reflect amendments to the Human Tissue Act 2004 as a result of the Organ Donation (Deemed Consent) Act 2019.

The existing Code will be split into two parts in preparation for the implementation of deemed consent for deceased organ and tissue donation from Spring next year, part one will cover living donation, which is not affected by deemed consent, part two will cover deceased organ and tissue donation. It is part two that we are consulting on.

Find out more and respond at the HTA website or email any questions to: code@hta.gov.uk

Law change enquiries

Enquiries from members of the public should be forwarded to optout.enquiries@nhsbt.nhs.uk or to our dedicated enquiry line 0300 123 23 23.

Press or media queries or people wanting to support the campaign or share their story, should be directed to the press office:

  • email pressoffice@nhsbt.nhs.uk
  • tel 01923 367600 (09:00-17:00, Mon-Fri)
  • for urgent out-of-hours media enquiries, call 0117 969 2444

Enquiries from charities, political figures (or organisations) and governments should be sent to externalaffairs@nhsbt.nhs.uk (mailbox monitored 09:00-17:00, Mon-Fri).

Meetings and events

6th Congress of the Spanish Transplantation Society - SET2020

8 -10 May 2020

Málaga, Spain 

The Spanish Society of Transplantation (SET) is delighted to announce that the 6th edition of SET2020 Congress will take place in Málaga, Spain, from 8 -10 May 2020.

The purpose of the SET is to act as the voice of transplantation professionals within Spain, providing representation and organising activities, training courses, investigation programmes, congresses, educational and research scholarships and awards.

Information about the congress will be added to the SET2020 website and on Twitter and Facebook.

The abstract submission period will start in October 2019.

19th Congress of the European Society for Organ Transplantation

15 - 18 September 2019

We are truly delighted to cordially invite you to be inspired and experience real progress at the ESOT Congress in Copenhagen, a transplant meeting of truly great scientific substance delivered in great ESOT style!

The philosophy behind every ESOT Congress is that every two years we produce a totally new congress in content and format; ESOT Copenhagen 2019 not only follows this rule but aspires to be the best transplant congress ever!

ESOT Copenhagen 2019 is designed to be your congress, tailoring and targeting its content to the discipline that you serve, the stage of your career journey in transplantation and your professional aspirations.

Knowledge will be delivered through a plethora of networking opportunities leading to new collaborations so that the end of the congress will mark many new beginnings in transplantation.

We aim to explore the edge of our current practice and achievements and also challenge each other about great things that have not yet happened, ask ourselves, why not? and pave together the way forward.

Looking at the hot topics of the congress (which are just the appetisers for a great feast…), we will learn from history and each other, make patients active partners in our endeavours, vigorously debate our ethical conduct, take deep dives in the waters of basic and translational science so that we can bring to the surface clinical solutions, admit the moments we reached our clinical limits and explore how to push them further, debate and design innovation with realism and all in the context of our palpable and substantial professional development.

Furthermore, the ESOT award winning digital congress innovations have now reached new heights and they are designed to bring people together (even if they are not physically at the congress!), maximise their interaction and advance their knowledge.

Last but most certainly not least, all these are going to happen in Copenhagen, a dream city that can make those who adore classic fairy tales and the enthusiasts of modern miracles equally happy and in the Bella Conference Centre that is designed to make your time at the Congress Productive and Enjoyable.

Join us in Copenhagen! Be inspired and drive progress!

Vassilios Papalois and Allan Rasmussen
Scientific Program Committee Chairs

Further information about the event.

UK Organ Retrieval Masterclass

17 - 18 December 2019

De Vere Tortworth Court and Bristol University Clinical Training Centre

De Vere Tortworth Court
This is a two-day workshop designed to optimise the quality of organs offered for transplantation by improving retrieval practice. The course is aimed at surgical trainees with an interest in abdominal (liver, pancreas, kidney) and cardiothoracic (heart, lung) organ donations and transplantation. It includes lectures and workshops together with practical demonstrations of relevant techniques involving all participants.

For those who seek competency to participate in a national organ retrieval service team in the UK, this masterclass is a mandatory part of the required competency registration as a retrieval surgeon in the UK.

Find out more about the workshop

ODT Care 
  • Tuesday 13 August 2019, 10:00 – 14:00
    • The Principal Hotel, York 
  • Tuesday 8 October 2019, 10:30 – 14:30
    • The Principal Hotel, York 
  • Tuesday 10 December 2019, 10:00 – 14:00
    • Telecon

Other meetings

Details of upcoming group meetings: