NHS Blood and Transplant has launched a set of training tools designed to help maximise the number of referrals for organ donation and the consent rate.
It has produced a DVD on how to approach families of potential organ donors, a printed guide that complements the DVD and a quick reference guide.
The aim is that health professionals making the family approach will be more skilled to approach a family about organ donation and sensitively deal with objections raised.
While 2012-13 was a record year in the UK for the number of deceased donors and transplants, the consent rates for organ donation still rank among the lowest in Europe – 405 of families approached refused to donate.
Paul Murphy, national clinical lead for organ donation at NHS Blood and Transplant, said it was important specialist nurses and clinical teams received training “to be able to raise donation with grieving families in the right way and at the right time”.
“Only in this way will we reduce our shocking rates of family refusal and give patients the best chance of getting the transplants they need,” Dr Murphy said.
The training package builds on guidance from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, and has been given to all UK specialist nurses in organ donation.
It emphasises the importance of notifying a specialist nurse in organ donation as soon as the possibility for donation is recognised and involving them in how donation will then be raised with the family of the potential donors.
Figures from the Potential Donor Audit 2012-13 emphasise just how important this is, according to NHS Blood and Transplant.
Last year 66% of families agreed to organ donation going ahead when a specialist nurse in organ donation was involved in the approach, compared to just 37% when they were not.
Contact Pauline O’Brien on 01923 367669 for a free copy of the training materials.
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