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Statement: NHS Blood and Transplant reassures blood donors that Government's sale of PRUK does not affect them

19 July 2013

Blood donation in England is run by NHS Blood and Transplant.

NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) collects blood in England from voluntary donors for NHS hospitals in England. NHSBT is a special health authority reporting into the Department of Health and Social Care. NHSBT staff are NHS employees.

There has been some confusion generated by online news stories because several years ago, a UK firm, PRUK, which worked with plasma products, was part-sold to an American company.

PRUK was a Government owned holding company which imported blood plasma from the USA to manufacture plasma products for NHS-use. Ever since the emergence of vCJD (Variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease) the medical advice has been not to use UK blood for the manufacturing of plasma products such as immunoglobins.

In 2013, the Government announced it planned to sell the majority or all of the shares in the company. An American company, Bain Capital agreed to buy an 80% stake in PRUK. NHSBT does not hold further information and the Department of Health and Social Care may be able to advise further.

NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) collects blood from voluntary donors in England for use by NHS hospitals in England and other parts of the UK when needed.

All NHS organisations recover costs from each other for the services they provide to each other. In NHSBT’s case, hospitals give NHSBT money for each unit of blood they receive. This money covers NHSBT’s costs, such as blood donation nurses, blood testing, transport, and much more.

NHS Blood and Transplant imports plasma from Austria and Poland for the treatment of patients born on or after 01/01/96. The plasma is collected from voluntary non-remunerated donors who are subject to the donor selection criteria in EU law. These are the same guidelines as NHSBT.

  • This statement was updated in January 2019