NHS Grampian Biorepository

Information for Patients

Doctors may need to remove tissue from you during surgery as part of your treatment. After all of the material that is needed to make a diagnosis has been used, anything leftover is usually thrown out. If you consent for tissue to be retained by the Biorepository, we will only take a little bit of this leftover tissue. Sometimes blood samples will be collected too, but only if it is convenient and appropriate.

Patients who will undergo a hospital procedure suitable for Biorepository collection may be approached by an experienced Research Nurse. The nurse will explain everything in detail and ask for your consent for tissue to be collected. You do not have to agree to give this consent.

We are very grateful to all patients who offer to allow us to collect pieces of tissue for research. Offering to donate tissue or blood to the Grampian Biorepository is completely voluntary, and it will make no difference in any way to your hospital care, treatment or diagnosis whether you give consent or withhold it. All of your personal details will be treated in strictest confidence. We give your donated tissue an individual identifying number unrelated to any other hospital number you may have, so researchers will never get to know your identity. We are careful to only give your tissue to researchers doing an approved and worthwhile project.

The Grampian Biorepository provides investigators with a large and wide collection of material that can help determine, for example, what factors different samples of diseased tissue might have in common. This in turn allows researchers to devise better ways of diagnosing and treating diseases such as cancer, and improves our understanding of what triggers such disease. Before obtaining any donated samples researchers must provide a written explanation of exactly what they intend to do with the tissue. A committee of doctors and scientists based in Aberdeen then assesses the merit of each request on scientific, technical and ethical grounds. Only if they are satisfied that the research is well planned and of medical value is permission given for tissue to be provided.

Patients who decide to donate samples and subsequently change their mind can withdraw their consent at any time by contacting the biorepository using the details below. On receipt of a patent's written instructions the Biorepository will withdraw all samples still in storage and dispose of them in an appropriate manner. If consent is withdrawn several months after donation, it is possible some of the samples may have already been issued to researchers. The Biorepository will alert the relevant investigators and request the immediate return of any unused tissue.

If you need to contact the Biorepository you can
email gram.biorepository@nhs.scot
telephone 01224 550928.

Or write to

Joan Wilson
NHS Grampian Biorepository
Department of Pathology
Link Building
AB25 2ZD