Transplant surgeon awarded top job

Mr John Forsythe, clinical director of the Transplant Unit at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, has been appointed as the national lead transplant surgeon by Nicola Sturgeon, Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing.

The appointment is in recognition of Mr Forsythe’s commitment to advancing the cause of transplantation in Scotland.

Mr Forsythe heads up the Transplant Unit at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh and is also Chairman of the Scottish Transplant Group, and Board Member of NHS Blood & Transplant, the authority which runs transplantation in the United Kingdom.

He said:


“A huge amount of work has been carried out in the last few years in order to help those many patients who are waiting for a life-saving transplant. Much more needs to be done in order to carry out the recommendations of the Organ Donor Taskforce which represent a major change in the way organ donation and transplantation is organised.


 “I am honoured to take up this new post which will allow me to take forward the work already done along with many colleagues from across NHS Scotland.”
  “This appointment is a reflection on John’s commitment and dedication to the field of organ transplantation and organ donation over many years.




“We are delighted that his work has been recognised in this way and that he has been acknowledged as a leading surgeon in his field.”


John Forsythe has worked in the field of transplantation since 1991 when he was appointed as a consultant surgeon with special interest at the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle before transferring to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary in 1995.
He is now Consultant Transplant Surgeon and Clinical Director involved in liver, kidney and pancreas transplantation.
For the last 10 years he has been involved in a number of innovations in the field, including an education pack for all secondary schools in Scotland, new publicity for the organ donor shortage, changes in the organisation of organ retrieval, a new allocation system for kidney transplantation in the UK, paired exchange kidney transplantation and live donor liver transplantation.
He has held a number of professional positions of responsibility including Chairman of the Kidney Pancreas Advisory Group (UKT) and President of the British Transplantation Society.
Mr Forsythe is also Chairman of the UK Advisory Committee on the Safety of Blood, Tissues & Organs.
In 2007 the Transplant Unit at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh took part in the first paired kidney transplant in the UK, and last year the team carried out Scotland’s first live liver transplant.