Tissue Donation

We are proud to be an NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) Alliance site. Our Trust supports tissue donation and we want to give all families the opportunity to fulfil patients’ wishes. Donated tissues such as eyes, skin, bone and heart valves can save and dramatically improve the quality of life for others. As many as 50 people can be helped by the donation from one person.

Organ donation law in England

As of May 2020, organ donation in England has changed to an opt out system. If you have not recorded an organ donation decision and you are not in one of the excluded groups, it will be considered that you agree to donate your organs when you die. 

The tissue donation journey

All adult patients who die in our hospitals are potential tissue donors unless they have opted out. Once the family is informed of the patient’s death the nurse will complete a tissue donation referral form. This form is used by the Specialist Nurses at NHSBT to assess whether a patient is suitable for tissue donation, so the nurse must ensure that the form is fully completed with as much information as possible. 

The form is then emailed to the NHSBT as soon as possible after completion. If donation is a possibility a Specialist Nurse from NHSBT will contact the patient’s next of kin by phone to discuss the tissue donation process.

Why you should donate

Tissue donation gives many families the opportunity to make a difference to others and the Specialist Nurse will be able to answer any questions the family may have. If a patient has already expressed a wish not to donate tissue on the organ donation register, the family will not be approached.

Tissue donation takes place in the hospital mortuary or the funeral directors within 24 hours of death (eye donation), or up to 48 hours after death for other tissue. Tissue donation will not delay funeral arrangements.

Our consultant, Bita Manzouri, talks in the video below about corneal donations and how they can transform the lives of others.

Case Studies

Laura's Story

Find out more about eye donation

William's story: his donated heart valves helped four babies

The Human Eye - QI's favourite facts


NHS Organ Donation


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