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News: NHS Blood and Transplant Statement in response to the Penrose Public Inquiry Final Report

I would like to express my sympathy on behalf of NHS Blood and Transplant to patients and their families affected by emerging infections before adequate safety measures could be identified and implemented.

25 March 2015

Lorna Williamson, Medical Director at NHS Blood and Transplant said:

“I would like to express my sympathy on behalf of NHS Blood and Transplant to patients and their families affected by emerging infections before adequate safety measures could be identified and implemented.

“I want to reassure people that safety is at the forefront of everything we do at NHS Blood and Transplant. Today the UK now has one of the safest blood supplies in the world.

“To ensure the safety of both patients and donors we have put in place a number of measures, including testing to reduce to a minimum the risk of transmission of infections through blood transfusion. We rigourously follow the guidelines that are in place to protect both donors and patients. We are also subject to regular inspections by independent regulators.

“It is due to our generous blood donors that we are able to meet the needs of patients in England and North Wales. I would like to thank them and hope they continue to donate to help save and improve lives.”

Ends

  • For additional information please contact by calling the NHSBT Press Office on 01923 367600
  • For out of hours enquiries please call: 0117 969 2444

Notes to editors

  • 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.
  • NHSBT collects processes, tests and issues just under two million donations of blood annually.
  • Each donor completes an extensive donor health check questionnaire before each donation designed to exclude any donors with infections. In addition all donations are routinely tested for hepatitis B, hepatitis C, HIV, HTLV and syphilis.
  • In the instance that any blood donation tests positive for infection, it will be immediately removed from the blood supply chain and therefore will not be issued to patients.