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Operating as a special health authority in the NHS (NHS Blood and Transplant), they are the organ donor organisation for the UK and responsible for matching and allocating donated organs. Their remit also includes the provision of a reliable, efficient supply of blood and associated services to the NHS.
One of their key roles is to ensure that organs donated for transplant are matched and allocated to patients in a fair and unbiased way. Matching, particularly in the case of kidneys, is so important that donation and allocation needs to be organised nationally. The larger the pool, the better the likelihood of a good match.
Unlike some other NHS organisations, they do not have a direct relationship with patients and do not provide "hands on" care. However, in providing support to transplantation services across the UK, everything they do has an impact on the quality of service delivered to individual patients.
Their specific responsibilities include:
- Managing the National Transplant Database which includes details of all donors and patients who are waiting for, or who have received, a transplant.
- Providing a 24-hour service for the matching and allocation of donated organs and making the transport arrangements to get the organs to patients.
- Maintaining the national NHS Organ Donor Register.
- Improving organ donation rates by funding initiatives in the wider NHS.
- Contributing to the development of performance indicators, standards and protocols which guide the work of organ donation and transplantation.
- Acting as a central point for information on transplant matters.
- Providing central support to all transplant units in the UK and Republic of Ireland.
- Auditing and analysing the results of all organ transplants in the UK and Republic of Ireland to improve patient care.
- Raising public awareness of the importance of organ donation.
Last updated on 07/08/2015
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