A Sunny Day in London Town (Part One)

Well in case you didn’t know, we have had some very Summer-esque weather here the past couple of days. I feel that I have fully immersed myself in this by having drunk cider in a beer garden and got my first sting of sunburn that I always do as a pale, basement dweller.

Friday I had the absolute pleasure of spending a day at the AAPT (Association of Anatomical Pathology Technologists) head office in the city. This did mean getting on the tube in rush hour, but it also meant getting to spend some time with some great people. I was lucky to have secured a place on the Consent Training Day 2018 where professionals from all across the specialism from midwives and APTs to pathologists got together to learn about post-mortem consent.

The structure of the day was a talk from Lisa Carter, a representative of the HTA, regarding the regulation of consent, another talk from a member of the AAPT, Martin Goddard, around the different types of consent and how they are given/taken and then an afternoon in a workshop group discussing scenarios. I took my seat second row from the front (my eyesight is not the best) and studiously took notes the whole day determined to get out of the sessions what I could.

Consent is something that is hugely important in our role. Our most common type of post-mortem is a Coronial one where it has been ordered by the Coroner. This is unavoidable and consent is not required from the deceased prior to death or from their relatives. However, in the case of research or for other interests there are post-mortems undertaken and for these full consent must be granted. This consent process is not complicated but is thorough and there are a number of guidelines around how best to approach and record. I won’t go into heaps of detail here but it is a fascinating and intricate process to ensure that the family receives the best for their relative and nothing happens they wouldn’t want it to. This particularly focuses on the retention of any tissue and what it is used for, ensuring that nothing is kept unknowingly or for purposes unknown.

Unfortunately this has come off the back of a few ‘scandals’ that occurred where tissues or deceased were kept without the knowledge of the relatives. This led to legislation being passed to ensure this could not happen again and this is excellent for securing trust back in institutes. It would seem the media loves a mortuary scandal and the reporting of it, even recently. It’s a shame when the good work of the institutes are not highlighted as often!

I had a brilliant day at the course and saw a few people I had previously met and also met some new people which is great. So pleased to be a part of this and hope I can help with the progression the profession continues to have.

Look out for another post later today as I took a wander through the city afterwards, and between leaving training and ending up in a beer garden I had a little adventure I’d like to share!

Thank you for reading and if you have any questions please do get in touch!

MG x

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