Everyone can volunteer to give blood, whether they have a disability or not. However, we must make sure that it’s safe for people to give blood and for patients to receive donated blood.
We need to be certain that anyone who wants to give blood understand what’s involved, how they will feel, and the things they’ll need to do afterwards to take care of themselves. If we think that someone doesn’t completely understand, we can’t let them give blood.
Carers are welcome: we just ask that they introduce themselves to a member of staff. They can accompany you throughout the donation process, apart from the private screening; this is to maintain confidentiality.
All of our donor centres are wheelchair-accessible: you can call them before booking for more detailed information about the facilities they offer. Not all of our community-based venues (eg church halls and community centres) will be accessible – if possible, we suggest you contact the venue before booking a donation session.
If you use a wheelchair and come on your own, you must be able to get from your wheelchair to the donation beds or chairs and back again. Our staff aren’t allowed to help you, due to Health and Safety Guidelines.
If you bring a carer, they’re allowed to help you on and off the donation beds or chairs.
Disability dogs are welcome: we simply ask that they stay outside the donation area.
You can contact our donor helpline on minicom: 0845 730 0106.
You may bring a signer or translator. However, if you need a signer or translator (third party interpreter) to be present at any part of the selection procedure where there is an exchange of confidential information (such as during the health screening process), they must:
a) Understand the requirements of the Blood Safety and Quality Regulations relevant to the donation process.
b) Not be personally known to the donor.
Please be aware that NHS Blood and Transplant do not routinely provide a signing or translation service at our blood donation sessions. Although we have some donation staff who are British Sign Language certified and may be able to act as a third party interpreter, we cannot guarantee the availability of this service at all blood donation sessions.
We have large print versions of the welcome folder and Donor Health Check Questionnaire. We can also talk you through the questionnaire.
If you have colour blindness or dyslexia, you can ask for coloured overlays at the welcome desk.
If you have any comments, concerns or questions about whether you can donate blood, please contact us:
Phone: 0300 123 23 23
Minicom: 0845 730 0106