This guideline offers best practice advice on improving donor identification and consent rates.
Treatment and care should take into account people's needs and preferences. Where the person at the end of their life has the capacity to make decisions, they should have the opportunity to make informed decisions about their care, in partnership with their healthcare professionals. In many cases parents, families and guardians are an important part of the consent process and, unless the person has expressed otherwise, should be involved in decisions about consent. If potential donors do not have the capacity to make decisions, healthcare professionals should follow the Department of Health's advice on consent and the code of practice that accompanies the Mental Capacity Act. In Wales, healthcare professionals should follow advice on consent from the Welsh government.
If the potential donor is under 16, healthcare professionals should follow the Department of Health's Seeking consent: working with children guide.
The Human Tissue Authority has produced codes of practice for consent and for donation of solid organs for transplantation, and the NHS has produced a code of practice on confidentiality. NHS blood and transplant has produced policies on care of the donor family, and standards of practice for donor transplant coordinators.
Good communication between healthcare professionals and people is essential. It should be supported by evidence-based written information tailored to the person's needs. The information people are given about their care should be culturally appropriate. It should also be accessible to people with additional needs such as physical, sensory or learning disabilities, and to people who do not speak or read English.
Parents, families and guardians should also be given the information and support they need.