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Responding to the public’s voice: changing cornea donation practice in a hospice
  1. Kate Tredgett and
  2. Lauren Ward-Davies
  1. Prospect Hospice, Swindon, Wiltshire, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Kate Tredgett, Prospect Hospice, Swindon SN49BY, Wiltshire, UK; kateward{at}doctors.org.uk

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Opportunities for tissue and organ donation by patients who die in hospices are limited due to the usually advanced nature of their underlying conditions. However for many patients cornea donation is an option because of fewer eligibility restrictions. Often patients, those important to them (here after referred to as ‘families’) and staff are not well informed, or staff do not feel confident or skilled to discuss cornea donation.1 Providing both eyes are retrieved and are cleared for release, one donation can enable two people to have their sight restored through cornea transplant. (Personal communication)

Plan

During the development phase of a document to support the agreement and delivery of a local personalised plan of care for dying patients, the proposed document was presented at a public consultation event and cascaded to several general practice patient involvement groups. Feedback received included that the option of tissue and organ donation should be routinely discussed with eligible dying patients and families (this had not been incorporated in the original document). The document was amended to prompt clinicians and to provide information to patients and families. To enable oversight of the change in practice, the ’Plan Do Study Act' cycle structure was adopted and activity was monitored and …

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Footnotes

  • Contributors KT designed and led the work and wrote the letter. LW-D championed the work within the hospice.

  • Funding This work received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Ethics approval Informed by the Research and Innovation Department at the Great Western Hospital NHS Foundation Trust that this was service evaluation/quality improvement work and ethics committee approval was not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

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