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Organ Donation Week

Next week (3-9 September) is Organ Donation Week and this year it is focusing on the importance of talking about your decision on whether to donate your organs. We will be supporting Organ Donation Week by encouraging people to have these conversations with their relatives, and will be sharing information throughout the week on Twitter and Facebook.

Why is talking about my decision important?

If you decide to donate your organs after your death, it is important that you talk to your family so that they are aware of your decision before they are approached by hospital staff, at what will undoubtedly be an upsetting time for them. 

Although there is no legal right for your family to override your decision to become an organ donor, their support will be needed to fulfil your wish. Your family will be asked for information which will help to establish whether your organs are suitable for transplantation. Sharing your decision with them will help them prepare to have these conversations. Organ donation can often bring comfort to families who have lost a loved one; with the knowledge that other lives may have been saved. Please do discuss your decision with your family.

The role of the HTA

We inspect premises and issue licences across the UK, which ensures the quality and safety of transplanted organs. We also oversee the legal consent requirements by providing advice and guidance to professionals working in the transplant field.

The HTA does not promote organ donation. That is the role of NHS Blood and Transplant. We do, however, provide the public with guidance on how consent for deceased organ donation works in the UK.

The HTA also assesses and makes a decision whether to approve every case where one living person donates an organ or part organ to another living person in the UK. We make sure that appropriate consent is in place, free from coercion and that no reward is sought or offered. We also make sure that the risks have been explained to the donor and understood by them.
We train and accredit Independent Assessors (IAs) to interview the donor and recipient and write a report about the planned donation. These reports are submitted to the HTA for a decision.
There are a number of myths and misconceptions about organ donation.

In this video from NHS Blood and Transplant, specialist nurse in organ donation, Lucy, answers some of the most common questions she hears.

Annual Review 2017/18 published

The HTA has launched their annual review publication for 2017/18. The publication gives an overview of the variety of work the HTA has carried out over the last year.

Chair of the HTA, Nicola Blackwood, said; 

I’m delighted to be able to welcome you to the first HTA Annual Review publication of my tenure as Chair of the Human Tissue Authority. This review provides a concise and informative look back at what we at the HTA have been doing over the last year. We hope that it helps to explain why we do what we do, how we do it, and how much of it we have done over the last year.

Read it now

We held our public Authority meeting

The Authority of the Human Tissue Authority are our Board, and the Members meet regularly to discuss progress, make decisions and carry out other work crucial to the running of the HTA. Although usually private, once a year we hold one one of these meetings in public and invite interested members of the public to attend. This is a separate event to our annual conference.

We held this year's public Authority meeting on 19 July, attended by several members of the public. the Authority discussed several areas of HTA business, which you can read in the meeting minutes.
Catch up on the meeting

Visit us at the University Hospital Southampton open day

One of our Regulation Managers, Dr Caroline Kerridge, will be representing the HTA at the University Hospital Southampton’s hospital open day. The open day provides an opportunity for the public to understand how the hospital operates.

You can visit Caroline in the mortuary and pathology areas, where she will be explaining how our regulation relates to the hospital’s work.
How to visit

Public support for greater data sharing with biobanks

Patients would be happy to share personal data alongside tissue that they have donated to biobanks – if they are given a clear explanation of how their data would be used.

These are the findings of a public dialogue commissioned by the Health Research Authority (HRA) and the Human Tissue Authority (HTA) supported by the Sciencewise programme, run by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). The findings showed people expect to be given a clear explanation of what they’re consenting to, and who their data will – and won’t – be shared with.

Find out more

Come and work with us

We currently have a job vacancy at the HTA, and we'll have more to come over the next few months. Check our vacancies page for up to date information.

Regulation Officer (£26,553 - £34,300) (closing Wednesday 5 September)

We are looking for a Regulation Officer to perform a broad range of activities to support the delivery of our licensing processes. With a focus on data management, plus system and process improvement, you will proactively contribute to the enhancement of our data tracking systems while also assisting the team in meeting compliance requirements in this area.
See vacancies and apply

Join our public panel

As a newsletter subscriber, we know the work of the HTA is important to you.
You can play a part in improving our work by joining our public panel. In doing so, you will help us to produce useful information for the public, so that we can better inform people of our work; which is to ensure that human tissue and organs are used safely, ethically, and with proper consent.

Taking part is easy

Sign up below! We may require your feedback when publishing new material. This could be a guide to a new medical technique that people are talking about, an update to our policies, or anything else that we would like your opinion on. Recently, we collaborated with our public panel to create information on cryonics; the cryopreservation of bodies after death.

We are not looking for experts, your honest feedback helps us to communicate clearly and share information that is easy to find and understand. There's no obligation, you can choose when you'd like to give us your feedback.

Sign up now
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