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Teaching clinicians how to take consent for a postmortem after late spontaneous abortion or stillbirth
  1. KS Jackson,
  2. C Wright,
  3. AD Loughney
  1. Newcastle Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK


In 2001 the Redfern Report was published into unauthorised removal and retention of children's organs at post mortem (PM) in an NHS hospital. In response, the Human Tissue Act was passed in 2004, placing an obligation on anyone obtaining consent for PM to provide parents with full and accurate information about the procedure. The standard of practice in taking consent remains poor, however, possibly because there is no nationally recognised PM consent training package presently available to Obstetricians.

The authors have designed an innovative teaching package in which e-learning is integrated with traditional observation/assessment processes, giving learners careful instruction followed by opportunities for guided practice.

Phase I Web based teaching.

Phase II Observation of colleagues taking consent and attendance at post mortem.

Phase III Structured assessment by a third party observer.

E-learning was chosen for the theoretical phase as it facilitates training of a dispersed audience. Learning is self-paced and delivery of knowledge is consistent. On-demand availability enables learners to complete training at their own convenience. Proof of completion and certification is automated and refresher materials are readily accessed.

The observational phase assists the learner in identifying the main steps of the activity and recognising likely problem areas. It helps to inspire confidence in the learner and facilitates discussion afterwards.

Finally, supervised practice allows the learner to test skill and understanding, with the opportunity for feedback. Proficiency may be assessed and modifications made in this phase.

Details of this PM consent training package will be presented on this poster.

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