The Human Tissue (Authorisation) (Scotland) Act 2019: qualitative research - October 2019 to January 2020

Findings from qualitative research undertaken between October 2019 and January 2020, with NHS staff involved in organ and tissue donation across Scotland, concerning attitudes toward organ and tissue donation and ‘The Human Tissue (Authorisation) (Scotland) Act 2019’.


1 Specialist Nurses-Organ Donation support potential donor families and the operational processes of organ donation. The specialist nurse receives detailed training in communication and family support, especially in the end of life wishes conversations. Further information can be found on the NHSBT website.

2 The primary roles of CLODs is to provide clinical leadership within the hospital, to champion and promote the value of deceased organ donation. Further information can be found on the NHSBT website.

3 This feedback has helped to inform NHS Training plans.

4 The Organ and tissue donation - authorisation requirements: guidance explains that under the Human Tissue (Authorisation) (Scotland) Act 2019[1] ("the 2019 Act"), duty to inquire is a core principal that requires that health workers should make every effort to establish the decision or views of the potential donor, and then to support their decision being fulfilled. Please note that this guidance was published after research interviews took place.

5 Futility in this context refers the clinical determination that a patient is not expected to survive and no further treatment options are appropriate or would change the patient’s prognosis. Only when the clinical team have discussed and agreed with the patient family that nothing more can be done, will a sensitive discussion start to take place about the possibility of donation.

6 NHS Blood and Transplant coordinate transplantation on a UK basis on behalf of the four nations, and routinely provides feedback to ICU departments and staff about that department’s activity related to donation, such as missed opportunities, authorisation numbers, successful donation and transplantation activity, etc.

7 It should be noted that interviews were conducted prior to much of the public awareness activities implemented to support raised awareness about the law change among the public.



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