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Hello, and welcome to the Winter 2016 edition of The Donor magazine.
As we look back over the year, we celebrate the fact that our blood stocks have remained healthy and consistent – providing patients with lifesaving transfusions when they have needed them. On their behalf, I would like to offer my sincere thanks for your continued support.
Every year presents new challenges. The demand for blood has been dropping by about 4 per cent a year – both here and across the world – and we expect the trend to continue. This sounds like good news, and in many ways it is. The fall is thanks to improvements in clinical practice and by our working more efficiently with hospitals to ensure that blood is used appropriately for patients.
While slightly fewer donations are required overall, we need more donations from certain groups. There remains a particular need for universal blood and platelet types - O negative and A negative - and we still have a long standing shortage of black and Asian donors, who are more likely to have rarer blood types.
We have also needed to change sessions, which has meant asking some donors to go to a different venue. I know this can be disappointing and may be less convenient for you. We are investing in new technology, such as our app, to make it easier to view all donation venues in your area, book an appointment, and review your donation history.
As we head into the cold winter months, we do tend to see blood stocks dip as people stay indoors and are distracted by the festivities over Christmas and the New Year. We know that time is particularly precious at this time of year, but, if you can, please do book an appointment to donate.
Thank you again for your dedication to blood and platelet donation. I wish you health and happiness for 2017.
Ian Trenholm, Chief Executive
Write and tell us your news, views and interesting or unusual donor stories by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org