Key information about pancreatic transplant units in the UK and the Pancreas Advisory Group

COVID-19: see our advice for clinical staff involved in facilitating organ and tissue donation and transplantation in the UK.

Pancreatic transplantation was once sporadically offered to patients with diabetes and renal failure in the UK, but with modern advances in preservation techniques, pancreatic transplantation has become much more common since 2004. There are now eight nationally-funded pancreatic transplant units in the UK, this includes both whole organ pancreas transplants and islet cell transplants.

In the UK, whole organ pancreas transplants are usually combined with a kidney transplant from the same deceased donor to treat diabetic nephropathy. Diabetic patients with normal kidney function may be offered an islet transplant, especially if they have hypoglycaemic unawareness. Living donor pancreatic transplants are not currently performed in this country.

This section of the site describes aspects of pancreatic and islet transplantation in the UK, and the role of NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) in facilitating these programmes.

NHSBT is supported by clinical input from members of the Pancreatic Advisory Group, which has oversight of matching and offering schemes for pancreatic and islet cells and their allocation schemes.