Background Discussions regarding tissue and eye donation, historically has taken place with next of kin, usually following a patient’s death. Lack of knowledge and understanding within the hospice, resulted in staff feeling that it was often too sensitive a topic to approach. A need was recognised to educate and empower staff ensuring all patients and relatives were given opportunity to make an informed choice.
To ensure patients and relatives are informed about choices available, regarding tissue and eye donation as part of their advanced care planning
To ensure staff have the confidence to open up discussions regarding tissue and eye donation
To encourage collaborative working with the acute trust, bereavement and donor team, to develop standardised practice
To develop a policy and procedure.
Methods Retrospective base line data was collected for three months, to identify if tissue donation had been approached and to review the outcomes of discussions. A staff education programme commenced in-house including; one-to-one teaching, group discussions and collaborative education with our local acute trust including personal experience stories. Data was collected after the intervention of education and training.
Results Prior to the education programme, tissue and eye donation was discussed in 39% of cases with four patients donating corneas, potentially benefiting 16 people.
Post education results demonstrated a 79% increase in discussions to 70% of patients, with consent to donate obtained for seven patients. Staff report positive carer feedback, as the main driver, empowering them to approach patient discussions.
Conclusion The project demonstrates by empowering staff and building confidence, we have positively impacted on the choices available for patients and their families regarding the donation of tissues after death. Further education will be delivered to embed and ensure sustainability with this change in practice. A policy and procedure to standardise practice is being finalised
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