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The Human Tissue Act and the MMMP

Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and the University Hospital of South Manchester NHS Foundation Trust are licensed by the HTA to undertake examinations of post mortem samples submitted by clinical consultants and pathologists - the MMMP falls within this scope.  Under the license, the samples may be retained until the examination has been completed and in line with the sample retention policies.

It is the obligation of the requesting clinician or pathologist to ensure that examination of samples they submit to MMMP have been requested by the coroner or appropriate consent has been obtained from the deceased person or their relatives.

Only the specific examinations requested by the sending clinician or pathologist may be performed.  It must be assumed that the coroner has not asked for any other examinations to be performed and consent has not been obtained for any other work and so this would be outside the scope of the licence.

If additional work on samples from the deceased is thought necessary by the medical microbiologist or virologist they must obtain written confirmation of consent from the sending departments.

All relevant material is stored securely and under conditions which maintain the integrity of the sample if possible and confidentiality is maintained in compliance with Caldicott principles as are all samples received into the Partnership. Following processing, relevant material is only retained for the period of time specified by the retention policy. It may also be retained if it is likely to be of value for research under research ethics committee approval. Residual relevant material once outside of the retention policies must be discarded sensitively.

If the sender of relevant material requests tests not performed by the MMMP or a PHE Reference Laboratory the sending clinician or pathologist may request the return of the material.