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The latest news from the Human Tissue Authority
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Issue 77: December 2019

HTA news

Human Application

Post Mortem

Research

HTA News

The HTA welcomes a new Chair

We are delighted to welcome Lynne Berry OBE as the new Chair of the HTA.

Lynne joins us with a wide range of experience across the health and care system as a CEO and more recently, in non-executive director roles.

For more information on the appointment, please visit our website by following the link below.

        
Find out more

New appointment to our executive team

The HTA welcomes a new member to our Senior Management Team (SMT). Louise Dineley joined the HTA as our new Director of Data, Technology and Development at the end of October.

Prior to joining the HTA she has held a number of senior roles across healthcare including seven years in regulation with the Care Quality Commission.

You can find out more about Louise and the rest of our SMT by visiting our website.

Find out more

Compliance updates: thank you for your submissions

Thank you to all establishments licensed under the Human Tissue Act 2004 and the Quality and Safety of Organs Intended for Transplantation Regulations 2012 for submitting your compliance updates this year.

We will do an in-depth review of the feedback and all suggestions as part of our commitment and focus on continuous improvement.

The compliance update information will be used to improve our licensing records, prioritise inspections and inform our approach in each sector. Following our analysis of the data, we will consider how best to reflect any emerging trends or useful learning points.

Our year in numbers 2018/19

In November, we launched our publication Our year in numbers 2018/19, which gives an overview of the variety of work the HTA carried out last year.

The document summarises inspection and licensing data and regulatory activity undertaken by the HTA from the 2018/19 business year. It can be read alongside our Annual Report and Accounts 2018/19, and the more detailed activity reported via our various working groups and Committees.

HTA licence fees 2020/21

We will be announcing our licence fees for 2020/21 in December.
 
We review the licence fees we charge establishments each year following consultation with our Stakeholder and Fees group, which includes representation from those working at our licensed establishments.

The fees we charge are based on the resources required to license, monitor, and inspect each sector. The licence fee income pays for a wide variety of activities associated with our regulation – from evaluating licence applications, making licensing decisions and issuing licences, through to site visit inspections, and providing advice and guidance to licensed establishments.

We have recently undertaken a review of our licence fee structure as we are mindful that over the last couple of years there have been some changes to our licensing and inspection processes as well as changes of licensed establishments within all sectors.

All establishments will be notified by email in December when we announce the final licence fees for next year.

HTA conference 2019


Our conference took place in early November and we are happy to say it was a great success. Thank you to everyone who attended and participated on the day.
We have published videos of the guest speaker presentations that took place on our YouTube channel for you to view at your leisure. You can also find the HTA inspection presentation slides available to view online.

Thank you to everyone who completed our feedback survey, the results of which will help to inform next year’s event.

Are your contact details up to date?

It is important for HTA licensed establishments to make sure we have the right contact details for you. Recently, we have noticed that a number of those we are trying to reach are not receiving important messages from us. In addition, we have noticed that many people have had issues logging on to the HTA Portal to report incidents due to a change to their email address.
 
We would be grateful if DIs, PDs and CLHs ensure that we have your up-to-date contact details. If you know your email address has changed recently (particularly NHS staff), please let us know as soon as possible so we can update our records.
 
If you are having issues receiving our newsletters, other important messages and updates, please contact your IT department or ISP and ask them to add our domain, ‘@hta.gov.uk’ to your whitelist, safe, or permitted email sender list.

If you are having issues accessing the HTA Portal or need to update your username or password, you must contact us as soon as possible.

To update your contact details, please email our licensing team. For any other queries, please email us.

Read the latest HTA blog

Since our last newsletter, we have posted a new blog:

Cheese sandwiches and kidneys – the role of an Independent Assessor by Rev. Sue Taylor 
 
Read our blogs

Upcoming events


Thursday 28 November: BTS Living Donor Forum and Winter Ethics Symposium
The HTA will be attending the British Transplantation Society’s (BTS) Living Donor Forum and Winter Ethics Symposium. The theme of this year’s event is ‘Expanding the Living Donor Pool: incentives and beyond’. You can find more details on the BTS website.

Thursday 5 December: Wales Transplantation Advisory Group (WTAG)
The HTA will be attending the June WTAG meeting. WTAG is a group that meets quarterly to discuss organ donation and transplantation in Wales, and includes representatives from the Welsh Government, NHSBT, as well as those who work in the sector in Wales.

Human Application

2019 Annual activity data collection 

We will begin collecting annual activity data for establishments in the Human Application sector via the HTA Portal in early January. We will email you early in December with further information and with detailed guidance on how to submit your data.

For further information, please email us or call 020 7269 1900.

Post Mortem

Winter capacity and contingency guidance


We know that winter adds additional pressures on mortuary capacity, and this can pose problems if adequate numbers of refrigerated storage spaces are unavailable. 
 
In order to help you prepare for potential winter pressures, please see our Contingency arrangements for mortuaries during busy periods webpage.

This page includes a link to our Storage capacity and contingency arrangements in mortuaries: Guidance for Designated Individuals in HTA-licensed establishments document.

 
It also contains additional recommendations on how to strengthen contingency arrangements and mitigate risks resulting from a shortage of mortuary fridge and freezer spaces.  It covers the following areas:

Fridge and freezer storage, including:
  • Storage of bariatric bodies
  • Storage temperature monitoring
Contingency storage
  • Transfers of bodies to other premises
  • Transfer to funeral directors
Mutual Aid Agreements

National Resilience

Factors contributing to increased pressures on storage capacity
  • Winter deaths
  • Flow of bodies after approval for release
  • Storage capacity and funding requests
Read our winter capacity and contingency guidance

Research

New e-learning modules on Research Tissue Banks

The HTA and the Health Research Authority (HRA) have worked together on the production of two new eLearning modules on Research Tissue Banks.

Research Tissue Banks – an Introduction is designed to help Research Ethics Committee (REC) members, Research and Development staff, Research Tissue Bank (RTB) managers, Designated Individuals and other staff be aware of the structure of RTBs, the regulations and ethics behind them.
 
How to ethically review an RTB is a guide for REC members is predominantly designed to support REC members with the ethical review of RTB applications. However, the module may also be of interest to researchers preparing to submit applications.
 
Both modules are available on the Health Research Authority’s learning management platform.

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