Blood and platelet donors are being asked to continue to help rebuild stocks hit by the severe weather by giving blood at donor centres in towns and cities.
It could take weeks for NHS Blood and Transplant to recover the blood needed to get stocks back on an even keel. So, existing donors of all blood groups are being asked to walk in to one of the fixed site donor centres or to book an appointment at www.blood.co.uk. We have added extra appointments to some of our existing sessions throughout March and are also planning to put on extra sessions where we can to help boost stock levels.
Please visit our new appointments page to find out where the extra sessions are.
The need for blood is constant. Because of recent freezing weather and snow, many people have not been able to donate. The bad weather has also led to some sessions being cancelled. This has meant we have not been able to collect as much blood as planned. Hospitals need 6000 units every day across England to treat patients in need.
We are also asking A+ and A- platelet donors who have booked appointments to do all they can to keep them if safe and possible to do so. Platelets only have a shelf life of 7 days so it’s vital that stocks are replenished on a daily basis across the country to meet the demand from hospitals. Any platelet donors who don’t have an appointment are being urged to come along to a fixed site donor centre and give as soon as they are able.
We are asking donors to walk in to donate, without the need to make an appointment in fixed site donor centres. These centres are more likely to be open at the weekend and are mostly situated in city centres so easier for people to get to. NHS Blood and Transplant has 23 donor centres across England.
Donors who are not near a static donor centre are being asked to book an appointment at blood.co.uk
All donors are welcome, but we are particularly appealing to those who have donated before as their blood group is already known. We can therefore make sure we collect enough of each blood group to ensure stocks pick up. It will take time to recover stocks so we are urging donors who cannot travel to make an appointment over the next two weeks at blood.co.uk
Mike Stredder, NHS Blood and Transplant Director of Blood Donation said: “The recent poor weather caused the cancellation of sessions in snow hit areas and meant we collected less blood than we needed, particularly Group A, Group O and B positive donations.
"Because of the bad weather we failed to collect around a days’ worth of stock and it will take us some time to recover this. That is why we are putting on extra sessions and opening our centres for longer so we can encourage those who can give blood or platelets to just turn up and donate.
“Seriously ill patients need blood every day and they rely on the generosity of people making time to donate.
“So, we are appealing for existing donors to come along to a session and donate if they are able. If not then please book an appointment for the near future to ensure we keep up the momentum and collect enough blood to meet the needs of patients. Please take action now and walk in and donate – you will save lives.”
• You can get more information by calling the Donor Line on 0300 123 23 23 or visiting www.blood.co.uk
Notes to editors