Getting an appointment to give blood
First time blood donors
As a new donor, we know you're eager to give blood and save lives straight away.
If you can’t find a blood donation appointment immediately, don't worry. We'll still need your help in the future so please search several months ahead.
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 sign up 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.
2. Look for appointments at permanent donation centres
You are more likely to find a time at one of our permanent donor centres.
We have 25 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.
3. Check for last-minute appointments
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.
Things that affect when you’ll get an appointment
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:
Your blood type
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.
Changes in blood stock levels
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.