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Bone bank

The Leicester Bone Bank is a bone and tissue bank which stores and supplies bones and other tissues to transplant surgeons all over the United Kingdom.  

It began on a small scale at Glenfield Hospital, and has been providing tissues for transplants nationwide since 1991. It is now the largest NHS hospital-based tissue bank in the country.

We collect bones from many hospitals across the country and supply surgeons throughout the UK. We work closely with the Department of Health’s Human Tissue Authority and we are licensed under the Human Tissue Act 2004.

Who needs bone transplants?

Many people have hip replacements but occasionally these wear out and need replacing.  Small pieces of donated bone are routinely used during these revision operations.

Heart valves

The Leicester Bone Bank extended its services several years ago to store donated heart valves, and Glenfield Hospital is now one of the most active centres for this type of transplant in the country.  

Heart valves can be transplanted into patients whose own valves are damaged or diseased, and are often transplanted to save the lives of young children or babies who are born with defective valves in their hearts.

Our commitment is to get the heart valves to theatre within one hour, 365 days of the year.

Tissue donation

Bone is donated to the Bone Bank by living donors, that is patients undergoing primary hip replacement surgery. Excess bone which would normally be discarded is saved, tested, and stored for transplant.

Though thousands of lives are saved every year with the help of donated organs such as heart and kidneys, many people are not aware that donated tissues such as heart valves, corneas and skin can dramatically improve the quality of life for recipients and even save lives. 

Although organs need to be retrieved quickly after death, tissues can be retrieved up to 48 hours afterwards, so it is often possible to donate tissues even if organ donation is not feasible. Many more tissue donors are needed in order to maintain this supply of tissues.

Website link:

NHS Organ Donor Register - Every year the lives of thousands of people are saved by organ transplants. Join the NHS Organ Donor Register and help increase this number.