Implementation of the National Eye and Tissue Network

Project Type - Service planning


  • 2009


The Department of Health and Ageing (the Department) engaged Health Outcomes International (HOI) to evaluate supply and demand trends for eye and tissue donation and transplantation in Australia, together with current arrangements to support these activities, and provide recommendations for the implementation of the National Eye and Tissue Network (the Network).  Subsequently the Australian Organ and Tissue Donation and Transplantation Authority (the Authority) assumed sponsorship for this project.  

The objective of the project is to provide recommendations for the implementation, operation and governance of the National Eye and Tissue Network. The recommendations shall take into account current issues in the eye and tissue donation and transplantation sectors and the operation of the Authority.  

The specified requirements of this project were to: 

  1. Undertake supply and demand analysis.  
  2. Identify additional supply capacity required.  
  3. Map and conduct gap analysis of current arrangements.  
  4. Recommend approaches for implementing the National Eye and Tissue Network.  
  5. Recommend approaches for Network governance arrangements. 
  6. Recommend approaches to increase capacity if required.  

The primary methodological components for this review included the following:

  • An Environmental Analysis provided an overview of the international evidence and an analysis of demand supply and capacity issues for each type of tissue. 
  • An Organisational Analysis informed by the findings of the environmental analysis presented feedback from a series of workshops and presented the preferred approach for the implementation of the National Eye and Tissue Network including principles, role and function, and governance arrangements for the implementation of the Network together with a preliminary work plan format for the National Eye and Tissue Network.
  • Extensive stakeholder consultations:
    • Preliminary consultations with the sector and other relevant stakeholders. Preliminary telephone consultations with approximately 56 stakeholders were conducted early in the project. 
    • Eye and Tissue Bank Survey.  All eye and tissue banks and Organ Donation Agencies were invited to complete a survey. 
    • Workshops. Five workshops were conducted across five jurisdictions with key stakeholders from all jurisdictions invited. The workshops were attended by 54 stakeholders.

HOI produced a comprehensive final report informed by the environmental and organisational analysis. The Evaluation report focused on the following areas: 

  • Supply, demand and capacity analysis
  • Map of current arrangements and gap analysis
  • Network Governance arrangements
  • Network implementation arrangements

The Authority advised HOI that they would consider the recommendations presented in the Final Report, and in consultation with relevant stakeholders determine the approach to establishing the Network and commence implementation.