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News: Minister for Health visits North London blood bank to launch innovative Blood 2020 strategy

2 March 2015

Jane Ellison MP, Minister for Public Health, launched NHS Blood and Transplant’s Blood 2020 strategy with a visit to olindale blood centre, North London.

The minister met local patients whose lives depend on blood donation and saw first hand state-of-the-art manufacturing services which help maintain blood stock levels for hospitals around the country.

Every day, NHS Blood and Transplant relies on more than 6,000 blood donors to meet hospital and patient need across England and North Wales. The new strategy outlines the ambitions for blood donation services over the next five years.

An important part of Blood 2020 is work to better match donated blood to patients in need. Scientists at Colindale are working on extended blood group testing for patients who need multiple transfusions, including the 10,000 people in England who have sickle cell anaemia and 800 with thalassaemia.

Calvin Campbell, 50, from North London has received regular transfusions at the Whittington Hospital since the age of 14 for treatment of sickle cell. Donna Mansfield-Allman, 54, also has sickle cell and is treated with regular transfusions at the Whittington and University College Hospital, London.

The patients, who met Jane Ellison MP during her tour last week, are among those who in the future will hopefully benefit from the extended blood testing initiative.

Jane Ellison, Minister for Public Health said: “My visit to Colindale showed the importance of donating blood. The Blood 2020 strategy builds on the excellent progress to date and gives clear direction for the years ahead, with the ambition to deliver the world’s best blood service. Most importantly, it has at its heart the need to deliver an excellent and expert service to NHS hospitals, donors and patients.”

Ian Trenholm, Chief Executive at NHS Blood and Transplant said: “We were delighted to welcome Jane Ellison MP to tour our Colindale facility, giving her an opportunity to see some of the world class work going on within the organisation in North London and meet local patients. The minister saw a snapshot of the technical work taking place at one of our state-of-the-art laboratories.

“As part the minister’s visit we launched our Blood 2020 strategy, setting out our ambitions for the next five years. We have come a long way since the inception of NHS Blood and Transplant nearly ten years ago, and this strategy builds on what we have learned along the way and paves the way for our future. While the process of collecting blood is fundamentally the same as a decade ago, processes and technologies have developed and demand from hospitals has changed. As an organisation, we have moved with these advancements and we continue to take strides forward as we move towards 24/7 activity across the organisation and seek innovative ways to meet our hospital customers’ needs.

“We will of course continue to focus on donors – without them being prepared to give their time to donate we wouldn’t be able to provide hospitals and patients with the transfusions they need. We aim to offer donors a safe, positive and modern experience – which includes moving towards paperless appointments and health checks.  We hope that 80 per cent of donors will be using our digital services by 2020, enabling them to register, book and amend their appointments online meaning it is easier for them to come back and give their vital donations time and time again.”

The NHS Blood and Transplant Blood 2020 Strategy is available for download via www.nhsbt.nhs.uk/download/blood-2020.pdf

Ends

  • For additional information please contact NHS Blood and Transplant Press Office on 01923 367 600.
  • For out of hours enquiries please call: 0117 969 2444

Notes to editors

  • *In the shorter term NHSBT is working with the Welsh Government to support the smooth transition to an all Wales Blood Service by 2016. 
  • The 2020 strategy sets out the ambition to continually innovate blood services in England*.  The strategy is based upon four pillars, covering the journey from blood donation through manufacturing to delivery and support services for hospitals.  The four pillars are:
  1. Delivering an excellent blood donation and donor experience to ensure a sustainable blood donor base
  2. Manufacturing blood products for NHS hospitals with high levels of productivity and quality
  3. Ensuring excellent tailored customer service for our NHS hospital customers
  4. Improving patient outcomes and reducing total costs by integrating our operations with key hospitals and networks.
  • NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) is a joint England and Wales Special Health Authority. Its remit includes the provision of a reliable, efficient supply of blood and associated services to the NHS in England and North Wales. It is also the organ donor organisation for the UK and is responsible for matching and allocating donated organs.

  • NHS Blood and Transplant have worked closely with Sickle Cell Society and UK Thalassaemia Society with the genotyping area of work.  They can be contacted for comment at:  UK Thalassaemia Society 020 8882 0011 and Sickle Cell Society 020 8961 7795.