To support organ donation and transplantation in the UK and to help NHSBT fulfill its statutory obligations, NHSBT has set up organs-specific Advisory Groups and the National Donation Committee. Amongst their roles, the Advisory Groups propose and monitor policies for organ donation, allocation, retrieval and transplantation. These groups, which include representation from all designated transplant units as well as other stakeholders, enable an exchange of views and information on practical and strategic issues and recommend changes to the nationally agreed protocols for allocating organs. More specifically the groups:
In 2012 NHSBT commissioned an independent review conducted by experts in the transplant field to ensure that the Solid Organ Advisory Groups (excluding Ocular Tissue) continue to provide the enormous value they have added to the organisation to date. The review report can be downloaded here. An action plan, developed in partnership with the advisory group chairs and leading organisations in lay involvement, will be submitted to the board in early 2013.
There are currently seven main advisory groups, which meet twice yearly, covering
There is also a retrieval group, to develop and monitor standards for organ retrieval by the National Organ Retrieval Service, commissioned by NHSBT.
The advisory group chairmen serve for three years with the option of a further two years. All are free to co-opt members for specific aspects of their work and to form small working parties, as appropriate.
The procedures for organ donation, allocation, retrieval and transplantation are set and monitored by the Advisory Groups which focus almost exclusively on issues to do with specific organs. These groups enable an exchange of views and information on practical and strategic issues and recommend changes, as necessary, to the nationally agreed protocols for allocating organs.
Currently, all selection and allocation policies are undergoing review and will need modification to ensure compliance with current and planned legislation.