Organ Donation

Donor Care

Donated organs/tissue and the families that donate them are a precious resource, the lives of hundreds of transplant patients are saved each year as a result of this gift.

It is important that, where appropriate, the option of donating organs and/or tissue is offered to the next of kin/person closest in life.

This section provides links to relevant codes of practice and current policy which inform healthcare professionals' roles in the care of a potential organ/tissue donor and their family, ensuring that they receive appropriate advice and support throughout the donation process and beyond.

ICS guidelines for adult organ and tissue donation. Ch5 - organ donor management (39kb)
The Intensive Care Society (ICS) guidelines for adult organ and tissue donation include a chapter on organ donor management. In 2006 UK Transplant adopted the ICS guidelines on organ donor management as the national guidelines.

A Review of the Impact of Three Initiatives for Improving Donation Rates in the UK (95Kb)
Following the award of funding to maximise the number of solid organ donors within the UK, three schemes were established on three-year fixed-term Service Level Agreements between UK Transplant and the recipient NHS Trusts. A review of the three schemes to assess their impact on organ donation was recently carried out by a Project Board chaired by the Director of Statistics and Audit. The results of the review are summarised in this document.

Donor Family Care Policy (220Kb)
Drawing on the experience of Donor Transplant Co-ordinators and donor families, supported by expert opinion and evidence, where it exists, this policy defines best practice that should be integral to the work of donor transplant co-ordinators.
(Appendix 2 will follow in the near future).

UK Hospital Policy for Organ and Tissue Donation (454Kb)
Written in conjunction with the Transplant Co-ordinators' Advisory Group, it provides guidelines on organ and tissue donation throughout the UK. It reflects existing legislation while amalgamating codes of practice and current policy, ensuring that all families are approached by skilled and experienced personnel, in a sensitive manner and at an appropriate time.

Standards for Donor Transplant Co-ordinators (131Kb)
The Standards of Practice for Donor Transplant Co-ordinators were originally published by the UK Transplant Co-ordinators' Association 1994 and revised by the UK Transplant Co-ordinators Advisory Group in 2003. The overall aim is to maximise the number of actual donors and in turn the number of organs and tissues retrieved and transplanted from each organ/tissue donor.

The UK Policy for the management of potential organ/tissue donors with positive virology results was updated in March 2004. It will give healthcare professionals guidance on how to proceed in light of these results, the subsequent care of the potential donor, and their next of kin/significant other.

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Donor care downloads

UK award for organ donation

Honouring donors and their loved ones