Liver Transplant Coordinator Service
The liver transplant coordinators are a part of a hepatology team based in the Belfast Trust but we also link in with King’s College Hospital in London.
If it has been decided that someone is in need of a liver transplant then they will meet the liver transplant coordinators based at The Royal Victoria Hospital Belfast. Day-to-day we coordinate everything for the patient from the moment they are discussed for transplant assessment through to the physical tests involved. This allows us to identify any possible problems early and ensure that the patient is a good candidate for transplant at King’s.
A lot of the role is minimising risk and preparing the patient for surgery so they can get back to having a normal quality of life as soon as possible. This is done by teaching the patient how to take care of them self before and after transplantation, including how to take medication and when to return to the hospital for follow-up visits. The transplant coordinator can also put the patient in touch with other members of the team such as dieticians, pharmacists and community services that will make life easier for them and their family or carer.
Waiting on a liver transplant can take up to 2 years so it is important patients know the coordinators are there for them and their carers during this wait and are contactable via email and telephone to answer questions and help reassure patients regarding any issues.
All patients from Northern Ireland will receive pre and post-transplant care at the RVH Belfast. This is regardless of where they may live in the region. However, the surgery itself will take place in Kings College Hospital London where their team of transplant coordinators will take over until the patient is ready to return to Belfast.
This service is for adults only. The RVH Children’s Hospital transplant service is separate.
How to access the service
Patients are usually referred to the liver transplant coordinators following an extensive and thorough assessment of their condition by the hepatology team. This process could begin following a GP appointment when bloods taken could highlight potential liver problems or a referral by another speciality within the hospital who feels the liver may be damaged. However, some patients can be referred via Accident and Emergency (for example drug overdose) when transplant is needed quickly. In this instance the patient will meet the transplant coordinator during their post-transplant care. The Royal Victoria Hospital Belfast (in conjunction with King’s College London) is the only hospital in Northern Ireland that runs a liver transplant service but it is accessible to anyone in the region who needs it.
Location of service
|The Royal Hospitals
274 Grosvenor Road,
Tel: (028) 9024 0503
Fax (028) 9024 0899
|King’s College Hospital
Tel +44 (0)20 3299 9000