Data Protection

Data Protection

Your information and how we use it

When you enrol as a blood donor, your personal details are entered on to our blood donor database. Your record will in time contain some or all of the following types of information:

Your personal details: name, address, date of birth, telephone number, email address, occupation, donor ID number, NHS number;

Attendance details: where you normally donate (your ‘panel’), your appointments and where and when you attended;

Donation details: including your blood group and the results of all the other tests we perform on your donations;

Correspondence: details of letters and other communications we have sent;

Other information: for example periods of unavailability because of travel or illness, other information that may affect your eligibility to donate, or post-donation problems you have told us about.

We use this information:

  • to work out when and where to invite you to donate;
  • to communicate with you, for example sending session invitations or information about other donation matters. These may include opportunities to volunteer for research projects. We do our best to contact you in the way you prefer. If you want us to change the way we contact you, please let us know via the helpline on 0300 123 23 23, or email Customer Services at;
  • to ensure your safety, and that of patients who may receive your donations. If we find a problem with your health, we will let you know. If appropriate we will also tell your GP, after asking your permission to do so;
  • for clinical audit, to assess and improve our service. We routinely audit all aspects of the donation process, for example to check that the Donor Health Check forms are completed properly, and that interviews with our healthcare professionals are conducted in accordance with the guidelines. Results of audits are always presented with all donor identifiers removed;
  • for research, to improve our knowledge about the donor population. By looking at the sorts of people who become active donors we can understand better how to meet their expectations of us, and identify opportunities for recruiting and retaining more donors. This is essential to help us collect adequate supplies of all types of blood;
  • for management and administration, for example to help us to plan where and when to hold collection sessions

Whenever personal identifiers are not needed for these tasks, if possible we remove them from the information we use.

All information about you and your blood donation(s) is stored securely on our database to ensure that we have a complete record of all your donations. We also keep the Donor Health Check forms you complete every time you attend to give blood. We are required by law (The Blood Safety and Quality Regulations 2005) to keep donor and donation information for a minimum of 30 years.

It is important to us to keep your address details up to date, so that we are able to stay in touch. To help us do this we may compare the details we hold with central NHS records, or those of other organizations that offer approved services for checking and updating addresses.

As we are an NHS organisation, we may use people’s NHS numbers to help us ensure correct identification and to find and remove duplicate records on our systems. Other than for keeping our own records up to date against central records, we do not allow any other NHS organisation to access the donor database. We do not give or sell donor details to any third parties such as direct marketing firms

Our Responsibilities

We are committed to maintaining the security and confidentiality of your donor record. We actively implement security measures to ensure your information is safe, and audit these regularly. All our staff and anyone who receives information from us have a legal duty to keep information about you confidential.

We will not release your personal details to any third party without first seeking your consent, unless this is allowed or required by law. We are working to ensure ongoing compliance with the Data Protection Act 1998.

Your Rights

The Data Protection Act 1998 gives you, the donor, various rights. The most important of these are as follows:

  • You have the right to a copy of information we hold about you. Please see ‘How to Access Your Records’ below;
  • You have the right to ask for your record to be amended if you believe that it is wrong.

If you have any other questions about how we use your information, please ask our Data Protection Officer via the helpline number 0300 123 23 23 or email

Further information about the Data Protection Act and your rights is available from the Information Commissioner’s Office. The address is at the end of this leaflet.

How to access your records

You can access the information we hold about you by writing to the Customer Services Department at the address given below. Please include as much information as possible to help us locate your records, including your full name, date of birth and address, plus your Donor ID if you have it. It will also help us to know if we are to look for recent records, or from how long ago. Please apply in writing, rather than by email, so that we receive an original signature to compare against the records we hold.

Sometimes we may have to ask for more details in order to identify you correctly and locate the information you are interested in. If you only want some of your record, rather than everything, then please tell us when you apply.

Subject access is normally provided free of charge, but we may ask for a payment of up to £50 towards the cost of large or complex requests. If we ask for a fee it must be paid before we provide your information. You may choose whether to visit your nearest NHS Blood and Transplant centre to collect your records, or to have copies sent by Royal Mail Special Delivery to your home address. We will provide access to your records within 40 days of receipt of all necessary information, and the fee if applicable.

Please make your request in writing to:
Subject Access Requests
Customer Services
NHS Blood and Transplant
Oak House
Reeds Crescent
WD24 4QN
Fax: 01923 367645

For more information about the Data Protection Act 1998 contact:

Information Commissioner’s Office
2nd Floor
Churchill House
Churchill Way
CF10 2HH

ICO Helpline:
029 2067 8400
9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday
Fax: 029 2067 8399

NHS Blood and Transplant is a Special Health Authority within the NHS.

Data Protection (PDF, 607K)

Data Protection Welsh (PDF, 1382K)

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