University Hospital Southampton top performer in Europe for stem cell and bone marrow transplants

ITV News Meridian's Mary Stanley reports.

University Hospital Southampton has been recognised as the best hospital in Europe for patients facing bone marrow or stem cell transplants.

Patients who are treated at the hospital have an 86% survival rate, for the first year post-transplant, which is the highest in Europe.

A stem cell or bone marrow transplant replaces damaged blood cells with healthy ones and can be used to treat conditions affecting the blood such as leukaemia and lymphoma.

Almost 4,000 bone marrow or stem cell transplants are performed in the UK every year, with just over 32,000 transplants across Europe as a whole.

Christopher Dalley, Consultant Haematologist

The centre, set up 20 years ago, treats 200 patients each year

These patients who require a bone marrow or stem cell transplant will often have multiple visits to hospital over a very long period of time.

University Hospital Southampton was ranked amongst 395 other transplant centres, so to come out on top has been described as a 'fantastic achievement'.

Sarah Holtby, lead WBMT accreditation quality manager at UHS, said: "This is such a fantastic achievement and endorsement that our amazing and brilliant bone marrow transplant staff and wider UHS team consistently go above and beyond to ensure the very best care and outcomes for our very complex patients."

Staff at the hospital say working very closely with patients and their families is really important.

Each individual's journey, as they get treated, can be different.

Sarah Main, Lead Nurse

Ben Cross was one of the patients treated at the hospital.

He was born with a rare hereditary condition, which affected the clotting of his blood. In 2009, at the age of 21, he had a bone marrow transplant.

He spent weeks in hospital undergoing tests and chemotherapy to suppress his immune system, before he could have the transplant.

He contracted glandular fever, which meant another year in hospital, but says the transplant has been the 'best thing'.

Ben Cross, Transplant Patient