NHS programme set to fund hand transplants

Lancaster Evening Post

The NHS is to fund hand transplants for patients in desperate need following injury or serious infection.

A team in Leeds has been given the go-ahead to run the NHS programme and recruit patients who have suffered injury, an accident or sepsis.

Four people are currently in line to receive a hand from a donor, with the first operation as part of the programme expected this year.

The UK's first hand transplant was performed in 2012 on former pub landlord Mark Cahill, who now has major use of his hand and can pick up his grandchildren.

NHS England has spent three years examining the potential for hand transplants and has agreed that Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust will be the UK base.

Consultant plastic surgeon Professor Simon Kay, who operated on Mr Cahill, will run the programme.

He said: "There have been lots of hand transplants around the world but this is the first time a national funding organisation has closely examined the issue, come up with the conclusion that it's worth pursuing and is now going to fund it nationally in one centre." Continue reading