Want to give blood for the first time?
Information for new donors
Update! We are currently experiencing an unusually high number of people wanting to give blood. It may take us longer than usual to process. Thank you and please bear with us.
As a new donor, we know you're eager to give blood and save lives straight away.
However, there are limited appointments for first-time blood donors, which we understand is disappointing.
But don't worry, your help will be needed in the future and we'll get in touch when there's space to donate.
Our appointment system carefully balances the supply of blood with the changing demand from patients.
You can book an appointment to give blood as soon as you register as a blood donor. However, the next convenient appointment might not be straightaway.
This could be because we already have a good supply of your blood type.
People need blood all year round so your donation will still save lives, even if your appointment is in a few months’ time.
The further in advance you book, the more choice you’ll have over dates, times and locations.
We’ll remind you when your appointment is coming up and you can rearrange it if your plans change.
You are more likely to find a time at one of our permanent donor centres.
We have 23 permanent donation centres in major towns and cities. These centres are often open at evenings and weekends and have more appointments available than sessions in other venues.
Permanent donor centres are highlighted when you search for an appointment online or using the NHS Give Blood app.
We also run mobile donation sessions from church halls and other community venues. These venues are always popular and appointments book up quickly.
If you have a specific day you’d like to donate and don’t have an appointment, please look again later as other appointments may become available closer to the day.
Sign in to your online account or use the app to check for last-minute appointments.
There are 8 main blood types but hospitals need different amounts of each type.
Blood also has a limited shelf life so we avoid waste by only collecting the amount we need
To make sure we collect the right amount of each type, there are different numbers of appointments for different blood donors.
Things that affect when you’ll get an appointment include:
There are more appointments for donors with blood types that people often need, such as O negative.
On the other hand, there are fewer appointments for blood types where demand is lower, such as AB positive.
We aim to have a 6-day supply of each blood type in stock.
If supplies of a particular blood type dip, we prioritise appointments for regular donors with that blood type.