About us


Who are the South West Liver Buddies?

We are an active liver patient support group working alongside the liver team at Derriford Hospital, Plymouth, to help further develop the services offered by the South West Liver Unit (SWLU) across the region. The group exists to provide assistance and friendly encouragement alongside the medical care of NHS professionals.

Members of the group include: patients diagnosed with liver conditions, those undergoing treatment, those waiting for a liver transplant and transplant recipients. We also welcome patients’ friends and family members who assist in their care.

People of different ages all reaching out their hands to each other, symbolising unity and support.
Derriford Hospital Main Entrance view with trees and flowers on a sunny day

We promote regular updates from the SWLU regarding current hepatology matters and issues, which can include responses to patients’ questions, concerns and interests.

The group provides a captive Patient Participation Group and ‘patient voice’ for the SWLU. This enables patients to give feedback to the unit and contribute to the development of its services and research priorities.

How can the group help me?

South West Liver Buddies have an active facebook group where members encourage and support each other while also sharing experiences, useful information and compassion in a private group space. We do not offer medical advice but can share our own understanding and experiences.

We host online video sessions for members to chat, ask questions, share experiences and get to know one another. This has proved very successful as it allows members to develop friendships and a support network with other patients on a regular basis regardless of geographical distance or ill health.

When able, members visit patients on the liver ward at Derriford for a chat and to provide company. We also love meeting up for a tea/coffee and cake after clinic appointments whenever possible. We like motivating and challenging each other to improve our own fitness, health and well-being at every stage of our liver journey and above all we enjoy having fun together.

Two friends chatting and holding cups of coffee.

This group is not all about doom and gloom and being ill, we have a laugh!

– Quote from a Liver Buddy