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A message from Sally Johnson, interim chief executive

Hello and welcome to the autumn 2018 edition of The Donor.

Sally JohnsonFirstly, let me introduce myself. My name is Sally Johnson and I have stepped into the role of interim chief executive for NHS Blood and Transplant following Ian Trenholm’s departure to the Care Quality Commission in July.

I joined the organisation back in 2008 as director of organ donation and transplantation and am really proud to take the baton and lead the organisation for the next few months until a permanent chief executive is appointed.

We have been celebrating Organ Donation Week (3rd–9th September), and ask you to have the conversation with your family and friends.

Just making sure the people closest to you know your decision and registering on the organ donation website could save up to nine lives. Lives that are lost needlessly every year, waiting for a transplant.

In this edition, we look back at 70 years of the NHS and hear from Maggie Hackney, who was born just a few months after the NHS was established. She was one of the first babies to receive a blood transfusion under the new health service, and explains what the NHS means to her.

We also hear from A negative platelet donor, Steve Hill, who has made it his mission to make ‘30 before 30’ – that is, 30 donations before he reaches his 30th birthday! This particular life goal has not only allowed him to bolster his sense of achievement, but he’s also helped save and improve the lives of many patients.

There are more changes coming that will enhance your blood donation experience, as we start to roll out a new and improved way of testing blood prior to donation.

We also investigate two specific blood types, B negative and A negative, and explain why these are particularly important for red cell and platelet donations respectively.

And finally, we’d like to use this edition of The Donor to pay tribute to Simonne Kerr – a key member of the B Positive choir who sadly lost her life in August.

Thank you, as ever, for your continued and committed support of blood and platelet donation.

Sally Johnson, interim chief executive