Human Tissue Authority

The regulator for human tissue and organs

Template referral letter and Guidance about the changes to the statutory referral letter template

Transplant units can use the current template referral letter provided here when referring a case to the HTA until Monday 15 January 2018

Review of the template referral letter 

To promote greater consistency, reduce variability and ensure all referral letters contain relevant donor information in line with the requirements of the Montgomery judgment, the HTA has reviewed the current template referral letter.
As part of the review, we have also taken the opportunity to make some other changes.  
Referral letters must:
  • be on headed paper, or have the Hospital logo in the header;
  • be dated;
  • use the following donation categories only: Directed, Directed Altruistic, Non-Directed Altruistic, Paired or Pooled Donation; and
  • include the date of transplant, if known (section eight)
Furthermore, we have made changes to the guidance included under section five of the statutory referral letter, which is about a donor’s decision about their organ if it cannot be transplanted into the intended recipient. An additional statement (see below) is now included to enable the medical practitioner to confirm that they have explained the risks associated with additional surgery to the donor where the donor has decided to have their organ re-implanted. The donor must be informed about how the organ could be expected to function following re-implantation. 
‘The donor (insert name), who has decided to have their organ re-implanted in the event that it cannot be transplanted into the intended recipient, has been explained the material risks associated with this procedure. The donor, (insert name), fully understands these risks.’
The revised referral letter template can be found here
Date of implementation
The HTA recommends that Transplant units begin using the revised referral letter template from Friday 1 December 2017. However, where this is not possible Transplant Units must ensure that all referrals made on or after Monday 15 January 2018 are made using the revised referral letter template. The HTA will not accept the old letter template after this date and the HTA Living Donation Assessment Team will request a new letter.