Celebrating Clinical Success - Our Outstanding Liver Unit

Liver Unit  In celebration of the 160th Birthday of our Children's Hospital, we're highlighting some of our superb teams and their achievements over the years.

One of our outstanding teams is our Liver Unit, which is one of three national centres that look after children with Liver disease and one of two centres in the UK that carry out intestinal transplants.

Our incredible team have carried out 107 small bowel transplants in total and over 1000 liver transplants, giving our young patients the chance to live a happy and healthy life. The unit is made up of six medical consultants, five surgical consultants, specialist nurses, ward medical team, ward nurses, physiotherapists, family support workers, a research team, and a transition team.


The team's work has transformed the way we treat children with liver disease and continues to lead the way for children's liver and small bowel transplants. This includes ‘Liver Direct’ a daily nurse led telephone and email advice service for families, GP’s and pharmacies.

Dr Jane Hartley, Hepatology Consultant, said: "Our small bowel transplant programme was pioneering. Until a few years ago, we were the only centre in the country that performed small bowel transplants on children."

More recently, the team have been taking part in ground-breaking studies to help relieve the symptoms of liver disease.

Dr Hartley explained: "We have been partaking in important studies that looks to relieve itch, a common symptom of liver disease. Children can sometimes suffer a constant need to itch, which can be extremely uncomfortable. These studies could make a huge difference in their lives."

New drugs have been trialled at our Liver Unit to relieve the symptom with great success, with the trial now going into fruition.

The Liver Unit are also proud participators (along with renal and stem cell transplant children) and organisers of the BWC team for the British Transplant Games, an annual celebration of the 'Gift of Life' that organ donation offers. Our Liver Unit's athletes, all of whom have undergone life-saving transplant operations, have taken home many medals and prizes over the years. Keep an eye out on our website for news on our next Transplant Games, starting on Thursday 28 July 2022.

Dr Hartley added: “We have a lot to be proud. Our care is very specialised and constantly improving. One thing in particular we are proud is our formal transition pathway we have set up in conjunction with our adult colleagues. Our successful transition team gets to know our patients and support them in the adolescent years and then when they move to adult services, they continue the support up until they are 25. It’s a unique offer and one we developed here at the hospital.”

Our Liver Unit does incredible work caring for our children and families all year round and has much to celebrate in our 160th birthday celebrations.

Visit our website where we are spotlight teams, events and more for our Children's Hospital's 160th Birthday. Children's Hospital 160th Birthday | Birmingham Women's and Children's (bwc.nhs.uk)