Scottish Donation and Transplant Group written update: April 2024

Written updates from the meeting of the group held on 25 April 2024.

Implementation Steering Group for Organ Utilisation (ISOU) update

Update given by:

  • Claire Williment, Chief of Staff, NHSBT


In April 2023 the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) established a new fixed-term Implementation Steering group for Organ Utilisation (ISOU), to drive the delivery of the 12 recommendations set out in the Organ Utilisation Group’s (OUG) report ‘Honouring the gift of donation: utilising organs for transplant’. 

ISOU is co-chaired by William Vineall, a senior DHSC official and John Forsythe, a DHSC based clinical leader in the field of transplantation. It brings together the organisations with a leading role in delivering the OUG recommendations and includes patient and lay representation, as well as representation from the devolved governments.

ISOU update

ISOU has made positive progress since the group launched last April. Key highlights are below:

  • establishing ISOU, holding a Ministerial reception to launch the group and five positive meetings and agreeing priorities, high-level ownership and roles and responsibilities for delivering the OUG recommendations with the lead delivery organisations – NHS England and NHSBT
  • NHSBT is continuing to deliver the Clinical Leads for Organ Utilisation (CLUs) programme in 2023-2024, a successful intervention that delivers on the OUG recommendation for every transplant unit to have a CLU in place
  • establishing three ISOU subgroups (Histocompatibility and Immunogenetics, xenotransplantation and Trust engagement) with all three delivering distinct work programmes and with Co-Chairs and membership that represent leading experts from the relevant subject areas. All three groups have now met twice. Two more subgroups will commence shortly (Patient Engagement and Assessment and Recovery Centres (ARCs)) and Co-Chairs have been appointed
  • establishing a stakeholder forum, which meets four times a year after every ISOU meeting to ensure key stakeholders - including patients and clinicians – can steer the implementation activities and remain engaged as the work progresses
  • delivering a significant project to support recommendation five from the OUG report – see below

Cardiothoracic Information Collation Exercise (CT ICE):

  • recommendation 5 of the OUG report stated NHS England must undertake a comprehensive review of cardiothoracic services to ensure that services in place are sufficiently sustainable and resilient and are able to provide the best possible outcome for patients- this is a high priority
  • to support the implementation of this recommendation DHSC is organising a CT ICE. This will inform NHS England’s future work in reviewing the CT transplant service.
  • after discussion, senior Scottish heart transplant service personnel will take part in the Information Collation Exercise
  • the CT ICE will include two surveys (of the patient and clinical communities) a detailed review of existing CT data provided by NHSBT, and a visit from three international CT experts, to enable us to learn from best practice and experience internationally. The international experts will meet clinical leads from CT transplant units to understand their clinical experiences, opportunities, challenges and learning
  • an update on the findings will be shared at a future ISOU meeting


Scottish Donation and Transplant Group

Back to top