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Mike Stredder - personal thank you

At the time of writing, our blood stock levels are higher and stronger than they have ever been.

I continue to be amazed by the generosity and selflessness of you all!

I want to pay tribute to the incredible commitment and loyalty of both our dedicated donors and the amazing colleagues that have ensured blood and blood products have remained available to all hospitals, despite the many challenges that we face with coronavirus.

There has been a heart-warming wave of support for the NHS generally, with more than 750,000 volunteers signing up to help the national response. We have experienced an enormous increase in new and lapsed donors registering to support us in a very practical way, recognising that each donation can save and improve the lives of up to three people. 

Welcome to those of you joining this very special community of life-savers. You are all incredible.

We have now started collecting convalescent plasma from people who have had coronavirus. This will be given to people who are still suffering from the disease because the antibodies in recovered patients have ‘learned’ how to detect and destroy the virus.

This will require rigorous testing before we can know for sure that it works. In order to create space for these very important potentially life-saving donations we will need to cancel some appointments of blood and platelet donors. This is something that we never like to do and recognise is extremely frustrating for donors.

I have enjoyed working with many fantastic people at NHS Blood and Transplant over the last five years. It is with a degree of sadness, but mainly pride, that I want to thank you all for your support, as I leave an organisation that has been so much more than a job to me.

Mike Stredder at West End Donor Centre
Mike visited all 73 blood collection teams within his first year with NHS Blood and Transplant

I am delighted that the donor satisfaction scores have improved, that we have blood products that are amongst the safest in the world, that our regulators continue to recognise our commitment to ensuring a safe environment for our donors and that we have a sustainable supply of blood.

We have listened to your feedback over the years and made many changes such as sending a text post donation to tell you which hospital benefitted from your blood, introduced and extended the app, and most importantly reintroduced Tuc biscuits!

I am excited about the many new initiatives that will be launching soon, as a result of an extensive review that we have completed. We did this to understand how we can improve the end to end experience of donors and I thank those of you that have been involved in the workshops and listening forums that enabled us to get your feedback.

It has been a privilege to serve in my capacity as Director of Blood Donation and I am only sad that I won’t be in role to see all of the changes come to fruition, however I will most certainly remain a loyal donor!