The latest news from the Human Tissue Authority
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We welcome new faces to the HTA Board

HTA Chair

We are delighted to welcome Lynne Berry OBE as our new Chair; she will be starting in post from 18 November.

Lynne brings a wealth of experience and unique insight to the role, having held a number of senior roles across the health and care sector and at regulatory bodies. 

As Chair, Lynne will work with our Authority Members to set our strategic direction, and ensure that resources are managed effectively. She will also provide support and guidance to all Authority Members. 

Authority Members

We are very pleased to introduce our two new Authority Members, Professor Gary Crowe and Dr Charmaine Griffiths

Each Member will bring a valuable set of skills, insight and expertise to our HTA Board. From biomedical science and research, to organisational development and transformation.

Our Authority Members help us to set and monitor progress against our strategic objectives. They also help us to make important decisions on policy issues, and they hold our executive team to account.

We look forward to working with our new Board Members over the next three years, and sharing our important developments and achievements. 

Meet the rest of our team!

HTA conference - Join us online!

We will be holding our annual conference on Wednesday 6 November. 

The event is aimed at professionals working at our licensed establishments, and will cover key themes across the regulatory environment. 

Hearing from those we licence helps us to improve our regulation so that patients and families can have greater confidence in how human tissue, cells and organs are used. That being safely and ethically, and with proper consent. 

The interests of the public and those we regulate are central to our work. Therefore, we would love for you to also take part!

Follow our live updates on Twitter and Facebook using the #HTAConf19 hashtag.

We will also be uploading presentations on our YouTube channel. 

National pathology week

Each year, the Royal College of Pathologists hold an annual celebration of pathology known as National Pathology Week. 

This highlights the important contribution that pathologists make to healthcare.

This year’s theme is Exploring innovations big and small, such as new and exciting advances in pathology and genomics.

It also includes positive contributions made towards patient treatment and the work of healthcare professionals.

How the HTA regulates the Post Mortem sector

The HTA regulates all mortuaries where post-mortem examinations take place in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

A post-mortem examination is an examination of a body after death. This can be extremely useful for finding out how, why, and when someone has died. 

Post-mortem examinations are carried out by pathologists - doctors who specialise in diagnosing the causes and effects of disease by examining tissue.

Pathologists follow standards set by the Royal College of Pathologists and the HTA. 

We work with mortuaries to help ensure that bodies of the deceased, and tissue samples taken from the deceased, are treated with respect and in an environment that is safe and secure. 

Join our Regulation Managers as they discuss how our regulation of the Post Mortem sector ensures that the deceased and their family are treated with dignity, respect and sensitivity.

Find out more

Read the HTA's latest blog

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

Managing Authority
Our Authority Member, Stuart Dollow, shares a glimpse into the oversight our Board has for the wide range of work across the HTA’s operational sectors.

Keep up to date with the blog!

You can follow our blog and receive notifications when we publish any new ones. You can also follow a specific blog post and receive updates when new comments are added. Check it out!

As always, we are keen to hear your suggestions for upcoming blog posts. So please do let us know your thoughts.

NHS Organ Donor Register reaches 25 year milestone

NHS Blood and Transplant are celebrating the 25th anniversary of the NHS Organ Donor Register

This Register is a secure database which operates throughout the UK. It allows people to record their decision on whether they wish to donate all, some, or none of their tissues and/or organs.

More than 20,000 lives have potentially been saved or transformed since its introduction. This anniversary falls in the same year that the government has granted new organ donation laws in both England and Scotland. These laws will see both countries introduce an opt out system of consent in 2020, known as deemed consent.

What is deemed consent?

From spring 2020, all adults in England will be considered an organ and tissue donor when they die, unless they recorded a decision not to donate, or if they are in one of the excluded groups

Why is it important to tell your family of your decision?

People can record their decision on the Register or by speaking to friends or family.

When deemed consent is introduced, families will continue to be consulted before organ donation goes ahead.

If a person dies in circumstances where organ donation is a possibility, the medical team will look at the Register to see if a decision about donation was recorded. This will then be discussed with the person's family.

For those wishing to be an organ donor, families will be asked to support that decision. Families can also provide important medical information that will help to establish whether organs are suitable for transplantation.

Whatever your donation decision is, it is important that you tell your family.

BBC News speak to clinical teams and specialist nurses on how they follow the organ donation process.

They also explain how they approach conversations about potential donation with grieving families. 

How will deemed consent affect the Register?

There are now nearly 25 million people on the Register.

The new system will not affect the records or decisions already saved on the
Register. People can however update their details, or change or reaffirm their decision

Getting your medicines if there's a 'no-deal' Brexit 

The government is working closely with the NHS and suppliers to help ensure that medicines and medical products continue to be available for patients if there is a ‘no deal’ Brexit.

NHS England's website for the latest advice and information for patients regarding the supply of medicines after Brexit.

Have you got the NHS App?

24/7, wherever you are, the app allows you to book, cancel and track appointments at your GP surgery with ease. 

You can order repeat prescriptions, view your GP medical record, and quickly check symptoms. You can also access NHS 111 online, which means no more wondering if you need urgent attention. 

It’s free and owned by the NHS.

This app can be downloaded from the Google Play and Apple app stores. 

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

We may ask for 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. We have recently collaborated with our public panel to increase awareness around body donor cards.

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.

Join our public panel
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