Help save lives this winter

This winter, NHS Blood and Transplant is asking donors to show more of the inspirational community spirit they displayed during the COVID-19 pandemic by continuing to save and improve people’s lives during the demanding festive period.

Update! Please wait 48 hours from your COVID-19 vaccine before donating. If you had side effects from the vaccine such as headache, temperature, aches and chills, please wait until these symptoms have resolved. Find out more about donating after a vaccine.

Winter is a tricky time for blood donation: it’s a busy period for lots of people and even the best intentions to donate blood can be derailed by weather, flu, and colds.

The pressures on hospitals can be unpredictable during this time, making it difficult to supply them with the right blood, at the right time, in the right amounts.  

With the additional complication of COVID-19 to contend with, the NHS is relying on the support of blood donors to meet the needs of the patients being treated during emergencies and surgeries, as well as those with cancer and other medical conditions.

It doesn’t matter whether you are a first-time blood donor or a long-term blood donor, there are three main ways you can help this winter:

1. Book an appointment

We know it isn’t always easy to find an appointment, but please book an appointment for now or in the future. We need blood all year round.

Appointments often become available due to cancellations, so please keep checking for slots in your area.

2. Keep your appointment if you can

If you have an appointment, please keep it. Each donation slot can save up to three lives.  In winter, when flu and severe weather hit, some donors are forced to cancel their appointments at the last moment, making it more important than ever that you make every effort to attend yours.

3. …or, if you cannot attend, move your appointment

We know that life is unpredictable, so if you can’t keep your appointment, please reschedule it as soon as possible. At least three days beforehand gives us a chance to fill the slot with another lifesaver, but please try to rebook as early as you are able.

Extra safety measures are in place
Extra safety measures are in place
Temperature check
On arrival, you will be asked to have your temperature checked

Making your donation safe

We are making donating as safe and pleasant as possible for your next visit.

Check you are ok to attend – read coronavirus health rules for donors.

COVID-19 vaccine – please wait 7 full days from your vaccine before donating on the 8th day. If you had side effects from the vaccine such as headache, temperature, aches and chills, please wait 28 days from your recovery. 

Wear a fabric face covering – unless you're medically exempt, this must cover your mouth and nose.

Attend alone – as part of the latest safety changes it is vitally important that you come on your own, to help minimise social contact.

We’d like to wish all our donors a fantastic festive period and, on behalf of patients all across the country, give thanks for their life-saving generosity and support.