Statement on Freedom to Donate and Unilad’s ‘Illegal Blood Bank’ campaign

15 November 2019

Freedom to Donate and Unilad have jointly launched the ‘Illegal Blood Bank’ campaign.

NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) is not part of this campaign and this is not organised through the FAIR (For the Assessment of Individualised Risk) steering group, which brings together the UK blood services (including NHSBT), Public Health England, Nottingham University and a range of stakeholders including LGBT+ groups. 

Dr Su Brailsford, Consultant in Epidemiology and Health Protection for NHSBT, said: “We appreciate that any deferral is disappointing if you want to save lives by giving blood.

“We recognise that people want to be considered as individuals as much as possible. We are already working collaboratively with LGBT+ groups on blood donation, through the FAIR steering group.

“The FAIR group is using an evidence-based approach to explore if a more individualised blood donation risk assessment can be safely and practically introduced, while ensuring the safe supply of blood to patients. This work is not linked to the assessments being used in the Freedom to Donate campaign.

“The Government has set the three month deferral based on expert advice from a Department of Health and Social Care expert committee. We want to give as many people as possible the opportunity to donate whilst continuing to ensure the safety of patients remains our number one priority.”

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