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Issue 51 / January 2017

Welcome to issue 51 of the Independent Assessor (IA) bulletin.

This month’s issue contains information on:
Codes of Practice

The HTA's revised Codes of Practice are due to come into force on 3 April 2017. In preparation, we recommend that you read the revised Codes: Please note: the Codes will not apply to those working in Scotland.



We intend to hold a webinar on Code F on 7th March between 12 – 2pm.

The webinar will be presented by, Jess Porter, Head of Regulation for the Organ Transplantation Sector. The webinar will primarily provide guidance for Independent Assessors, Living Donation Co-ordinators, Specialist Nurses in Organ Donation, Clinicians and other members of transplant teams and will focus on the major changes to Code F. The webinar will also provide an opportunity for you to ask us questions.

Code F offers guidance to practitioners working in the field of living organ donation and deceased organ and tissue donation for transplantation. Code F sets out the consent requirements and HTA approval process for living donation of solid organs for transplantation. In relation to deceased donation, Code F provides advice for practitioners on how to meet the consent requirements for this activity to be undertaken lawfully in England and Northern Ireland.

Advice for practitioners working in the field of deceased donation in Wales is set out in Code of Practice 10 – Human Transplantation (Wales) Act.

You can register to attend the webinars here.
IA interviews and report submissions

Independent Assessors:

1. Timeframes
Please remember that you must submit reports within 10 working days of completing IA interviews.  If you are aware that this will not be possible, please let us know in advance so that we can make a note of the case.

You can still submit your IA report, if you are unable to attach the referral letter and donor declaration form. We would prefer that you send your IA report in sooner so that we can have a look at the case - this also helps to eliminate any time delays when considering a case.

2. Third parties
Recently, we have noticed some IA reports, where there has been an additional family member or friend present during the donor interview. While the donor may request that a third party sits in on the interview to provide support, the third party should not respond to questions on the donor’s behalf.

Each donor interview should contain a period where the donor is alone with the IA to provide an opportunity for the donor to confirm that their consent is being freely given without any outside influence being able to affect their response.

3. Recipient interviews
There may be occasions, where you are not able to interview the recipient. This may be, for example, because they are too ill, have a learning disability or the recipient is a baby/infant.

Please contact the LDAT for advice prior to interview if you are unsure about how to proceed.
Re-submission of IA

Independent Assessors and Living Donor Co-ordinators:

There is no need to re-submit IA reports which have already received HTA approval. As you will be aware, HTA approval does not have an expiry date and therefore the approval stands.

However, where 12 months has lapsed between the IA and transplantation, then an interview with the donor and recipient should take place in order to assess any change in circumstances. This information can be sent to

If you are unsure about how to proceed with these cases, please contact LDAT.   
IA Training

We are holding Independent Assessor training on Tuesday 28 March.
If there is an identified need for additional IAs in your unit, and you know of anyone that would be interested in becoming an IA, please let us know by email . Potential IAs will need to complete an application form to be considered. The application forms can be found on our website.

The deadline for applications is 28 February 2017.
Policy Change Update

Please note: this is for information only. The policies are not yet in place. The LDAT will provide you with further updates on these policies in the coming months. Please continue to work under current procedures until further notice.

The HTA is currently developing two policy changes to implement in the coming months:

1. Removal of Enhanced IA requirement for Directed Altruistic cases

This policy change will ensure all IAs are trained to carry out independent assessments for all types of living organ donation cases. This means that there will no longer be a need for Enhanced IAs to complete DAD assessments. In the coming months, IAs are going to be asked to complete online training to be able to undertake assessments for all donation categories.

2. Referral to Independent Assessment for all paired / pooled patients to take place at the point they are entered into the matching run, rather than once they have been matched

Current policy is that paired/pooled cases should not be submitted to the HTA  until the pair have been matched in the matching run. The policy change will allow these cases to be assigned to an IA when a pair is registered for the matching run but have not yet been matched. The rationale for this change is to allow greater flexibility in timing for when cases can be referred by units to IAs, and by the HTA to panel, in order to prevent the huge increase in cases received after each matching run.
Changes to the Living Donation Assessment team (LDAT)

Jennifer Cole is our new Living Donation Officer/ Jennifer started on 17 November 2016. You can contact Jennifer on 0207 269 1929.
Stats and Facts

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