Bodies or tissue acquired from international institutions must meet the consent and other provisions of the NSW
Applicants who source bodies/ tissue from overseas are responsible for obtaining documentation from the supplying institution that shows that the bodies/tissue meets the NSW standards. All documentation and details of bodies /tissues acquired from overseas institutions must be added to the anatomy register and available for audit by the Anatomy Inspector.
A body can be retained for a maximum of 4 years. An application may be made for an Anatomy Inspector to authorise the retention of a body for an additional 4 years. The body must be disposed of within 8 years from the date of death of the deceased.
Is there a time limit for disposal of tissue?
The time limit for retention of tissue is similar to the retention of a body, however if there is written consent by the deceased for permanent retention of tissue, then there is no need to dispose of the tissue. Where consent to permanent retention of tissues has not been given and the wishes of the deceased are unknown, the senior available next of kin may consent in writing to permanent retention of tissues.
If there is either no consent for permanent retention or the senior next of kin does not give consent then the tissue must be disposed of within the timeframes given above.
This requirement for disposal does not apply to the retention of small samples of tissue in the form of tissue blocks and slides.
What is an inspection audit?
Inspection audits consider the physical environment of the facility, review the policy and procedure protocols of the facility, and the register of specimens. For more information on the inspection audit see PD 2011_052 Conduct of Anatomical Examinations and Anatomy Licensing in NSW.
How frequently are licensed anatomy facilities inspected?
Each licensed anatomy facility in NSW is inspected annually. In general facilities are notified of the time of the inspection; however, Anatomy Inspectors can also inspect a licensed premise at any time.
What do Anatomy Inspectors look for when undertaking site inspections?
Anatomy Inspector’s check for compliance with the standards outlined in the inspection audit guidelines (see PD 2011_052 Conduct of Anatomical Examinations and Anatomy Licensing in NSW) and with the requirements of the Anatomy Act 1977. If a previous licence has been granted they will also look at compliance with any previous licence conditions.
Are anatomy facilities advised of the Anatomy Inspector’s findings?
Yes. After each inspection a report is sent to the facility that may include recommendations to ensure compliance with licence conditions and/or the requirements of the Anatomy Act 1977. The report is also sent to the Private Health Care Unit of the NSW Ministry of Health as part of the assessment of a licence (or re-licence) application.
Anatomy Inspectors continually monitor facilities to follow up on the progress of any recommendations.
One off workshops/meetings/forums
I plan on using a body for a medical exhibition or a conference. Can I get a time limited licence?
Yes. Licences may be issued for a one-off event or for a limited time, for example for a conference or exhibition. An application is required which addresses the criteria set out in PD 2011_052 Conduct of Anatomical Examinations and Anatomy Licensing in NSW.
As an inspection of the conference/exhibition venue may be necessary, individuals or institutions wishing to apply for one-off licences should ensure that they apply well in advance of the event.
I do not hold an anatomy licence but I would like to use a body for a surgical skills workshop. What do I need to do?
You will need to apply for a licence from the Secretary, NSW Health and comply with the Anatomy Act 1977 as well as other relevant laws. The process for this is set out in PD 2011_052 Conduct of Anatomical Examinations and Anatomy Licensing in NSW. Your application should include an outline of the activities that you propose to undertake, the facility which you propose to use and how the body will be stored, accessed and disposed.
I would like to use a body for research. What do I need to do?
To use a human body for research you will need to apply for a licence from the Secretary, NSW Health and comply with the Anatomy Act 1977 as well as other relevant laws. Your application should include an outline of the activities that you propose to undertake, as well as how the body will be stored, accessed and disposed. For details on how to apply see PD 2011_052 Conduct of Anatomical Examinations and Anatomy Licensing in NSW.
Our Anatomy facility has found a number of older anatomical specimens without any provenance or documentation. Is the facility able to add these specimens to their anatomy register?
Specimens that are found without consent documentation or other proof of donation should be reported to the Anatomy Inspector in the first instance. Options that may be considered include discussion about whether the specimen is of potential value for teaching and may be retained or appropriately disposing of the specimen/s.