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Coronavirus update

Please make sure you are able to donate by reading our coronavirus advice for donors.

Coronavirus: blood donation and safety

Providing enough blood for hospitals and vulnerable patients is a challenge during the coronavirus pandemic.

Fortunately, because of our dedicated donors, blood stock levels are currently good.

However, this is the biggest health crisis in a generation and we know we will soon need the many thousands of you who have recently registered to donate.

Processing your registration may take us some time, but with your help, we can keep blood donation going.

The Government recognises that blood donation is essential travel, so it is ok to leave your house to give blood if you are fit and well.

To make donating even safer for you and our staff we've introduced extra safety measures. Here are some of things we’ve done.

Keeping you up to date

We’ll let you know the latest health and hygiene advice before you come to donate.

We’ll contact you by text, email or via our app or you can check our website.

You’ll also see coronavirus and hygiene posters at the donation venue.

Checking for coronavirus risk factors

A donor speaks to member of staff before coming to donate

When you arrive, we’ll triage you and ask you some additional questions.

This is to make sure that only donors who are well and don’t have coronavirus risk factors enter the donation area.  

We will not test you or your blood for coronavirus. This is because there is no evidence it is transmitted through blood donation.

Improving distancing

Donors have a drink and snack after giving bloodWe’re asking blood donors to only come into the session at their appointment time, to help maintain social distancing. This will reduce any queuing and help protect everyone’s health.

If you arrive early, we may ask you to wait nearby (for example in your car) so you can come into the session at the best time.

We’ve increased the space between the chairs as much as possible.

This includes the waiting area, the donation chairs and where you have a drink and snack.

Each venue is slightly different so please bear with us while we explore the options.

Handwashing for donors and staff

A donor carer washed between her fingers using hand gel

There will be alcohol hand gel for you to use when you arrive.

Staff are washing their hands more often and using alcohol hand gels in line with government guidance.

Cleaning surfaces

Staff are doing additional cleaning of surfaces such as donation chairs, laminated leaflets and water fountains.

A donor carer wipes a donation chair

Face masks for staff and donors

A donor carer in a face mask

Blood donation staff are wearing face masks in line with government guidance on being in enclosed spaces where social distancing is not always possible.

We are advising donors to wear a face covering when they give blood. This does not have to be a surgical mask but should cover the nose and mouth.

You will still be able to donate if you choose not wear a face covering.

Removing hot drinks

To help reduce the time you spend sitting near other people, we have stopped serving hot drinks after you donate.

This is because we find people spend longer drinking hot drinks than cold ones.

You will still have as much time as you need to recover and safely leave.

A donor has a glass or orange squash

Donors aged 70 or over

We have temporarily stopped appointments for all donors aged 70 or older until the end of June 2020.

This is following government advice about self isolating for this age group.

When the deferral is over we will write to you with new advice based on government guidelines at the time.

We will be very glad to see you and for you to donate again once government advice indicates it is safe to do so.

Regularly reviewing the situation

We are reviewing all safety measures and may make more changes in the future.