The heart of our operations

In a flurry of pink ribbons, balloons and cake the ODT Hub was officially launched back in September 2017. The launch also marked the beginning of cardiothoracic (heart and lung) offering coming into ODT Hub Operations allowing Specialist Nurses (SNODs) more time to support donor families.

ODT Hub Operations (formerly the Duty Office) provide a Donor Referral Service for hospitals and match organ donors with recipients 24/7 using the Organ Donor Register, Transplant List and offering algorithms. The team also organise and manage the safe retrieval and delivery of organs for transplant around the UK. Combined with the Information Services team it makes up the ODT Hub with its vision of making ODT processes simpler, safer and more supportive.

Mick Stokes, Head of Hub Operations, said “Originally Specialist Nurses in Organ Donation (SNODs) were responsible for offering heart and lungs so we worked closely with them to ensure a smooth transition took place. The Hub Operations team are now carrying out all cardiothoracic organ allocation and offering, with the exception of donors after cardiac death (DCD) heart, which has freed up time for specialist nurses to do what only they can do – managing their donors and supporting their donor families.”

Suzie Cambray, SNOD in the South Wales Team, said “Before this happened it felt that I was stuck in the office on the telephone for most of the day. Now that cardiothoracic offering has been taken on by the Hub Operations team it has given me time to support donor families and hospital staff as well as undertake vital clinical activities.”

Hub Operations are now making over 87% of all organ offers and are increasing front line staff by 50% to ensure that there is capacity to take on all the extra work. With the National Liver Offering Scheme being launched soon Hub Operations will be making 99% of all organ offering, giving a national overview of where each donor is in the process and freeing up even more time for specialist nurses to undertake the incredible work they do.

Mick said “None of this would have been possible without a great team who have taken every challenge, good or bad, and worked through these changes and challenges to ensure a simpler, safer and supportive service to our patients and colleagues. I am extremely proud to be leading such a great bunch of professional and skilled colleagues”
Donna Harkess, National Transplant Liaison Co-ordinator in Hub Operations, said “It has been challenging taking on the extra work but it has given the team more control over the processes and early signs show that the heart and lung offering times have been maintained. I work in such a great team and the support I’ve had since I started four months ago has been amazing.”

Jacki Newby, Head of Referral and Offering, said: “The Hub Operations team has taken this increase in workload in their stride and have really risen to the challenge.

“They have taken on responsibility for offering donated heart and lungs to the transplant centres, a complicated role previously undertaken by SNODs, and they have also launched the organ donation referral line which is one number for anyone in the country to call to refer a patient for organ donation. During the first week of the new number being live, 176 referrals were taken by the team.

“We are working closely with Transplant Co-ordinators and SNODs to ensure that any new systems and processes are fit for their needs as well as our own to ensure we are responding to the increasing numbers of potential referrals, donations and transplants.”

What do ODT Hub Operations do?

  • Donor Referral Service for all potential deceased organ donors
  • Undertaking registration checks on the Organ Donor Register (ODR)
  • Receiving and recording information on potential and actual donors
  • Matching and allocating organs in accordance with the national sharing schemes
  • Registering patients on the Super/Urgent heart/lung, Super Urgent liver listings
  • Providing an emergency out of hours registration service for elective patients
  • Transport co-ordination and flight authorisation • Co-ordination and allocation of the National Organ Retrieval Service
  • Allocating organs for research
  • Gathering patient follow-up information post-transplantation
  • Implementing procedural changes based on Advisory Group recommendations
  • Responding to general telephone enquiries outside of normal working hours
  • Monitoring building security and services
  • A central point for expert advice on offering and allocation – and a calm, friendly voice in the organ donation and transplant chain.

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