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The Committee advises Ministers of the UK Government and the Devolved Administrations, as well as UK Health Departments, on the most appropriate ways to ensure the safety of blood, cells, tissues and organs for transfusion/transplantation.
There are several Eye Banks distributed across the UK.
In October 1983 the Corneal Transplant Service (CTS) was launched by the former UK Transplant Service with support from the Iris Fund for the Prevention of Blindness.
A national distribution network was established, with the aim of improving the availability of corneas and to reduce wastage. A national waiting list for patients who needed tissue-matched grafts was also introduced.
There are two CTS eye banks in the UK:
The CTS is funded by the UK Departments of Health through contractual arrangements with UK Transplant and is overseen by the UK Transplant Ocular Tissue Advisory Group.
The Moorfields Eye Hospital website includes an extensive section on eye health.
The Queen Victoria Hospital, East Grinstead. Famous as the home of the Guinea Pig Club, the specialist facilities include the oldest eye bank in the UK which was identified in the 2000 Transplant Activity report as the hospital supplying the most corneas to CTS eye banks.
HFEA is a non-departmental Government body that regulates and inspects all UK clinics providing IVF, donor insemination or the storage of eggs, sperm or embryos.
The Human Tissue Authority (HTA) is an independent watchdog that protects public confidence by licensing and inspecting organisations that store and use tissue for purposes such as research, patient treatment, post-mortem examination, teaching, and public exhibitions.
They also give approval for organ and bone marrow donations from living people through an independent assessment process.
The HTA provides advice and guidance about two laws: the Human Tissue Act and the Quality and Safety Regulations. These laws ensure human tissue is used safely and ethically, with proper consent.
The aim of the HTA is to set standards that are clear and reasonable, and in which both the public and professionals can have confidence.
NHS Professionals enables nurses, doctors and other health care professionals to work when and where they want, to suit their own individual lifestyles. Besides flexibility, the service also provides staff with NHS benefits such as the NHS Pension Scheme and first choice of placements.
The Wythenshawe covers a vast area around Manchester. In similar vein the website covers many subjects from Transplant Games to Dieticians Corner and from the New Start charity's successes to a wide range of information for both heart and lung patients.
In addition to running the country's blood donation and banking services the National Blood Service (NBS) also operates a tissue donation and banking programme, NBS Tissue Services. Many people can be considered for tissue donation after death as, unlike organs, tissues can be donated up to 24 hours after a person's heart has stopped beating.The tissues donated by one donor may enable up to 50 people to benefit from tissue transplant surgery.
The United Kingdom Xenotransplantation Interim Regulatory Authority ceased to exist on 12 December 2006. The link above explains the DH policy position on xenotransplantation, describes approval processes and points to appropriate sources of expertise and advice for further information and support.
Wales has a number of challenges with major health conditions. Among the health issues faced by the NHS is the fact that one third of all adults in Wales, an estimated 800,000 people, has at least one chronic condition. Many of these conditions, like cancer and heart disease, are no longer life threatening. This means that often they have become conditions people can live with rather than conditions that they will die from.Other chronic conditions include renal insufficiency and diabetes.