Human Tissue Authority

The regulator for human tissue and organs

Anatomy sector guidance

In the current circumstances, accessing facilities to undertake routine tasks may be difficult. However, HTA-licensed establishments must make sure that they have arrangements in place to maintain the dignity of the deceased.

We are also aware that anatomy facilities may be approached to assist with the storage of bodies as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. Please refer to our guidance on emergency mortuary facilities.

Body donation

With facility closures, anatomy establishments need to consider how to deal with enquiries and the information they need to provide.

Where body donations have been suspended, it is advisable to let the families of potential donors know that they will need to make other arrangements rather than a donation at this time.

Use of images in medical training

With the closure of training facilities, other resources are being used to substitute face-to-face training.

We understand that the use of images in education is important, and while the making and displaying of images (including photographs, films and electronic images) fall outside of the scope of the HT Act, we expect establishments to take care not to compromise the dignity of the deceased, and to put systems in place to prevent the inappropriate use of images.

Please see further information in our guidelines on filming or photographing of bodies or body parts that have been donated to medical schools.
 

Reporting incidents

All establishments licensed by the HTA are required to have an internal system for reporting adverse events and we would ask that you consider how best to handle relevant adverse events during the COVID-19 outbreak. Although there is currently no requirement for establishments in the Anatomy sector to report adverse incidents to the HTA, if a DI has concerns about an event or incident, they are advised to contact us.

Last updated on: 3 Apr 2020