Joint Red Cell Unit 

The red cell unit at UCLH is a pre-eminent national unit for investigating transfusion dependent and transfusion independent anaemias. Patients are referred locally, nationally and internationally for investigation, treatment and advice about management. We have developed a network of associated clinical expertise (such as cardiology and endocrinology), as well as diagnostic testing that is uniquely available at UCLH. Such diagnostic testing includes laboratory based methods as well as MRI imaging techniques for iron quantitation that are not available in district hospitals.

By utilising the expertise within the specialist haematology department, routine haematology, blood transfusion and haemoglobinopathy genetics laboratories, when patients are referred to our unit for investigations we can offer a more collaborative approach. This means less visits to hospital for tests and a faster turnaround time.

UCLH is the only unit that offers DNA diagnosis of haemoglobinopathies, together with other laboratory based investigations such as globin chain synthesis, alongside clinical care for thalassaemia disorders. The red cell disorders unit has the largest number of patients with thalassaemia in the UK and a large population of patients with sickle cell disease and we offer a coherent and timely diagnostic and management approach to these patients.

Conditions treated

  • Haemoglobinopathies including sickle cell and thalassaemia
  • Iron overload disorders including haemochromatosis
  • Anaemias
  • Enzymopathies e.g. pyruvate kinase deficiency
  • Membrane disorders e.g. hereditary spherocytosis
  • Secondary polycythaemia

 

Service performance

We have approximately 300 patients with sickle cell disease and 300 patients with thalassaemia under regular follow-up. Of these about 50 per cent are under shared care with other hospitals. Additionally we are a tertiary referral centre for iron overload disorders e.g genetic haemochromatosis as well as for other red cell disorders. The paediatric haematology clinic also has capacity to review non-malignant haematology in pre-teens as well as iron or red cell disorders in a child of any age.

 

Dr Bernard Davis Clinical haematology, Joint Red Cell Unit
Dr Farrukh Shah Clinical haematology, Joint Red Cell Unit
Dr Sara Trompeter Clinical haematology, Joint Red Cell Unit, Children and young people's cancer services
Prof John Porter Clinical haematology, Joint Red Cell Unit

 Contact details

Joint Red Cell Unit
University College Hospital
Haematology department
Cancer Services
250 Euston Road
London, NW1 2PG
University College Hospital Macmillan Cancer Centre
Outpatient Services
Huntley Street
London, WC1E 6AG
Telephone: 020 3456 7016
University College Hospital Macmillan Cancer Centre
Day Care Services
Huntley Street
London, WC1E 6AG
Telephone: 020 3456 7016

General enquiries
Telephone: 0203 447 9456 (adults) / 020 3447 5239 (children)
Fax: 020 3447 9911 (adults) / 020 3447 9046 (children)
Email: sarah.benn-hirsch@uclh.nhs.uk (adults) / jennifer.english@uclh.nhs.uk (children)

GP enquiries
Telephone: 0203 447 9456 (adults) / 020 3447 5239 (children)
Fax: 020 3447 9911 (adults) / 020 3447 9046 (children)
Email: sarah.benn-hirsch@uclh.nhs.uk (adults) / jennifer.english@uclh.nhs.uk (children)

Other information
If you are a patient please call the Patient Telephone Line for all queries to your team: 0203 447 7359. Please note the line is open Monday to Friday 9am-5pm.
 
Outside of the office hours (listed above) and for medical advice only, patients may call the haematology ward : 07852 220 900.
 
Please note this line is for patients only –medical professionals should call the general enquiries line for any patient related queries.

Service manager - Tom Connolly
Email: Tom.Connolly@uclh.nhs.uk