About our Liver Unit

Our Liver Unit is the UK's premier paediatric liver unit and one of the busiest in the world. Over the last 25 years nearly 1,000 paediatric liver transplants have been carried out and the team was the first to pioneer cut down, split and infant liver transplantation in the UK.

We have a team of 50 physicians, surgeons, nurses and allied health professionals who are world-renowned for their work. Our philosophy is family-focussed, holistic care.

Over the last quarter of a century, the percentage of children surviving liver transplants has risen from 40% to 90%. In 1993 we also went on to pioneer combined infant liver and small bowel transplantation, giving very poorly children the chance of a normal life.

The Liver Unit provides highly-specialised treatment for children with all forms of liver disease, including acute liver failure, metabolic liver disease and viral hepatitis. We also care for children who have both liver and kidney disease and intestinal failure with liver disease. We look after children from all over the UK, both as inpatients and outpatients.

Patient letters re: Covid-19


The treatment required depends on the type of liver disease. It may consist of specific medical therapy, special feeding (nutrition), liver surgery or liver transplant surgery. The medical team specialise in treating liver or bowel disease and are experts in nutrition. The surgeons specialise in working on the liver and bile duct (which takes fluid called bile from the liver into the small intestine), and in liver transplants.

The team

A large specialised team works alongside them, including specialist nurses (whose job it is to link and support families with other staff), ward nurses, transplant coordinators (who arrange for transplants when a liver becomes available), dietitians to help with nutrition, physiotherapists, psychologists, social workers, pharmacists and play therapists. The unit is also supported by radiologists, histopathologists (looking at tissue samples), anaesthetists and other specialists within the hospital.

Meet the Liver Unit team

Research programme

The unit runs an active research programme focusing on viral hepatitis in children, autoimmune liver disease, molecular genetics of inherited liver disease, quality and outcome of life following liver and/or intestinal transplantation.

Liver/Hepatology referrals

Please complete this Hepatology referral form 386KB and return to bwc.bchliveradvice@nhs.net.

If the referral is urgent please contact the team via switchboard (0121 333 9999) and ask to bleep 200. 

Criteria for urgent referral include:

  • UGI bleed
  • Acute liver failure
  • Acute Pancreatitis
  • Cholangitis
  • Trauma to the liver/pancreas
  • Neonatal cholestasis with acholic stools
  • Suspected intestinal obstruction post-liver/intestinal transplant
  • Suspected rejection
  • Any child in critical condition