Welcome to the Institute

The UK's first dedicated Institute for transplantation


Welcome from Professor Derek Manas, Director of the Institute of Transplantation

I would like to welcome you to the IOT website.

The Newcastle Hospitals have a longstanding tradition of acting proactively to meet the ever-changing health needs of the people of the North East and beyond. The highly specialist field of transplantation is no exception in this regard.

Newcastle has a long and successful history of caring for patients with end-stage organ failure, for whom transplantation may be the only treatment option available. We have nationally and internationally acclaimed transplant specialists practicing in the Institute, whose vast breadth of expertise and commitment to providing the best possible healthcare has resulted in an exceptional standing in the field.

Our rationale for creating this unique Institute was to consolidate all transplant services into one organisational structure and bring together all forms of organ transplantation under one roof – this includes heart, lung, liver, kidney, kidney/pancreas, and cell transplantation as well as regenerative medicine.

This new approach to transplant care is the first of its kind in the UK. Centralising both physical and professional services within in-patient and day-patient settings, optimises the use of resources and capitalises on developing a strong multidisciplinary medical and nursing team. In addition, we felt that we could capitalise on our excellent outcomes across all transplant specialities and learn from each other to achieve new heights.

Working together in one facility helps us to explore the many facets of the Multi-Organ Transplant Programme, and allows the ‘art of transplantation to meet the science of transplantation’ within the clinic and the laboratory. The Institute also offers a unique opportunity for education and learning.

The face of organ transplantation in the UK is changing rapidly – there is a lack of donors and those that are now available are older, ‘heavier’ and ‘sicker’. The Institute offers a unique opportunity for ground-breaking research into new ways of using ‘high-risk’ organs, and getting the best out of those we have, while keeping those already transplanted going for as long as possible.

To this end we felt that the Institute offered an essential link between the NHS and the University of Newcastle. Transplant research has been one of the academic strengths within the university and the Institute of Transplantation has already fostered collaboration between transplant research groups at the university. The partnership we have with academic facilitates translates research into common practices, and enables delivery of potential clinical therapeutic stem cell approaches, fosters clinical trials with novel drugs, and provides a unique national resource for training in transplantation in the UK.

Prof Derek Manas

About the Freeman Hospital

The Freeman Hospital is one of the most experienced and successful solid organ transplant centres in the UK with over 30 years of experience providing adult transplants for heart, lungs, heart & lungs, liver, kidneys, kidney & pancreas and, more recently, pancreatic islets.

We also provide heart and lung transplants for children at the Freeman Hospital whilst other organ transplant surgery is carried out by our paediatricians based at the Great North Children’s Hospital at the Royal Victoria Infirmary.

Our vision is to provide the very best transplantation outcomes for recipients and an increased utilization of donor organs. Through leadership, boldness and willingness to change established practice, our new purpose built facilities and fully integrated support services shall ensure a holistic transplantation centre at the forefront of research and education.

We are a national leader in the field of solid organ transplantation and are proud to report some of the highest success rates in the UK, most notably in lung transplantation.  

The Freeman is internationally renowned having a number of “firsts” to its credit:

  • Surgeons performed the first successful heart transplant for a baby in the UK in 1987
  • This was followed by the first successful single lung transplant in Europe and then the first successful double lung transplant in Europe in 1990.

The Freeman is also one of very few hospitals in the country who can provide simultaneous multi-transplant surgery such as kidney and pancreas transplants.  This means that we often receive referrals for very complex cases, patients who have certain types of cancers and those who have received previous transplants. Many of these “high risk” patients will have been considered too difficult to manage by other transplant centres.

Living-donor transplantation

Newcastle has a well established living-donor kidney transplantation programme which was enhanced in 2002 when we became one of the first centres in the UK to introduce laparoscopic live donor kidney transplantation reducing associated risks to the donor as well as post-operative recovery time. Our clinicians continue to pursue leading-edge surgical techniques ensuring our patients can benefit from the latest and safest clinical practice.

The Freeman Hospital has been developing plans to provide the North East’s first living-donor liver transplantation service. Still relatively uncommon in the UK, these transplants involve removing part of the liver of a healthy donor and transplanting it into a patient with life-threatening liver failure. Because livers have the ability to regenerate, patients who donate part of their liver can expect to make a full recovery. 

Find out more in our Liver Tranplantation wepages.