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TRUST STOPS TRANSPLANTS OF STEM CELLS; Bone marrow procedure switched to Manchester.

Byline: EXCLUSIVE By HELEN HUNT @helen_echo

CHILDREN'S bone marrow transplants will not be carried out in Liverpool anymore.

Alder Hey hospital was doing so few of these specialist types of procedure, health bosses who commission services for patients decided that Royal Manchester Children's Hospital would be better placed to do this work.

It means patients will have to travel to Manchester for the procedure and face a stay of up to six weeks. But bosses say pre and post operative work will still be carried out at Alder Hey.

Bone marrow transplants, also known as stem cell transplants, treat patients who have illnesses such as leukaemia and blood disorders such as sickle cell anaemia.

Mark Caswell, clinical director of medical specialities at the hospital, said: "Because Alder Hey only undertakes a very small number of bone marrow transplants each year (just two last year), we recognised that by having such small numbers of this complex and specialised procedure, the Trust would not be compliant with JACIE standards. Alder Hey itself took the decision to review this procedure, along with our partners in the North West, in the best interest of our patients - it was not at the behest of the regulator. With support of the Royal Manchester Children's Hospital, with whom we have a partnership arrangement, the Bone Marrow Transplant pathway has now been strengthened. Bone Marrow Transplants will now be commissioned from Royal Manchester Children's Hospital with pre and post-operative care and work-up being undertaken at Alder Hey."

Alder Hey and Royal Manchester already have close links and already have patients whose care is managed between them.

A bone marrow transplant is not a surgical procedure, and the standards for bone marrow transplants (the JACIE standards) are currently advisory rather than mandatory. However, it is now recommended that commissioners only commission stem cell transplant services from units which are JACIE accredited.

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CHANGE: Bone marrow transplants will no longer be carried out at Alder Hey
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Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Apr 23, 2013
Words:333
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