The Bubble Foundation

The Bubble Foundation UK supports the work of the Children’s Bone Marrow Transplant Unit at the Great North Children’s Hospital.

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Patient quote

“It is not possible to express in words our deep gratitude for what you have done for our daughter. We will always be grateful for your knowledge, expertise and TLC.”

"Thank you very much for looking after us while we were in your care - you were all brilliant and deserve a gold medal". Carl

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Jargon buster


Haematopoietic stem cell transplant: stem cells are transplanted from bone marrow, peripheral blood or cord blood.


Infection of the bones. 'Osteo' means bone, and 'itis' means inflammation or infection.

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Childrens Services

Paediatric Immunology, Bone Marrow Transplantation and Infectious Diseases

Our Children’s Immunology Service is recognised as one of the leading clinical research units in Europe for paediatric immunology and infectious diseases, including Severe Combined Immune Deficiency Syndrome (SCIDS) and bone marrow transplants. 

We are one of only two centres in the UK dedicated to treating children with immune system deficiencies. We pioneer new treatments to enable children to lead normal, healthy lives free of all medication.

We treat children from across the country: from the Midlands up to Scotland, and across to Ireland through a network of clinics in these areas which our consultants visit.


Stem cell transplants (HSCT)

We’ve been performing stem cell transplants on children with defective immune systems for over 20 years. Each year, we see over 1,400 children with immunity and infection problems, and perform up to 40 stem cell transplants for disorders such as Severe Combined Immune Deficiency Syndrome (SCIDS).

We also provide advanced care for other severe primary immunodeficiency problems which usually occur in older children. We have pioneered the use of bone marrow transplants to cure children with severe arthritis and other life threatening auto-immune diseases.

Our international reputation unit means we also treat patients from places such as Scandinavia, Eastern Europe and the Middle East.

We provide transplants for children in our region who suffer from tumours affecting the blood, bone marrow and lymph nodes (haematological malignancies) including leukaemia. We also provide transplants for bone marrow failure such as aplastic anaemia.


We use extracorporeal photophoresis (ECP) as a specialised treatment for 'graft versus host disease': this is a complication of stem cell transplantation (HSCT).

Our expert team can provide this treatment even for small babies, and we have treated patients who have been referred from other centres for this service.

Specialist care and support when you need it

We use technological advancements together with all-round care and support for our young patients and their families.

Our highly-trained specialist nursing liaison team helps you prepare for your child’s transplant and to manage their aftercare. Our medical and nursing staff will support you during your child’s stay, providing you with emotional and practical support. Our play therapists also help ensure that your child continues to develop as normally as possible while in hospital.

Pioneering research

Our current research focuses on five areas:

  • Clinical, biological and socio-economic features of Primary Immunodeficiency Disorders
  • Finding new genetic defects which cause Primary Immunodeficiency
  • Developing better techniques for stem cell transplantation
  • Finding the causes of complex unregulated autoimmunity/immune response in childhood, and developing effective therapy and stem cell transplantation
  • Long-term follow up of children and adults who have had transplants.

Infectious diseases

Our Infectious Diseases Service looks after children admitted to the hospital with severe infections. Together with the microbiologists and virologists, we also advise other paediatric teams looking after children with infections such as osteomyelitis or meningitis. We advise on: diagnostic tests; which antibiotics to use - either via cannula or medicine, or tablets - and for how long.

With this advice we aim to get the best results with as few side-effects as possible.

We provide outpatient clinics where we follow-up patients after admission, or see children with recurrent infections and auto-inflammatory syndromes. We also have a children’s travel clinic, and specialist clinics for children with tuberculosis, HIV and other blood-borne viruses.

Improving care for children with infections

Current research for children with infections focuses on:

  • Finding genetic factors that contribute to susceptibility and severity of infectious diseases
  • Finding the best way to treat infections
  • Identifying the role of immune factors in urinary tract infections.

Meet the team

You can find out about our consultant team on the meet the team webpage. We also work with specialist registrar doctors and junior medical staff, and our nursing team is made up of:

  • Nurse specialists in Bone Marrow Transplantation
  • Nurse specialists in stem cell transplantation
  • Nurse specialists in tuberculosis
  • Nurse specialists in paediatric immunology
  • Staff nurses.

We work together with other professionals from other disciplines, including: pharmacists, microbiologists, virologists, dieticians, psychologists, other paediatric specialties, social workers, play therapists and physiotherapists.

More information

Useful websites

Contact us

For more information about children's immunology, Bone Marrow Transplantation, and infectious diseases, please contact:

  • Dr T J Flood, Consultant in Paediatric Immunology and Infectious Diseases - tel: 0191 282 5262 
  • Dr M A Slatter, Consultant in Paediatric Haematopoietic Stem cell transplantation - tel: 0191 282 5260 
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