Shropshire blood banks may be ‘collecting too much’ amid service review
Blood donation services in Shropshire are to be reviewed – because transfusion staff may be "collecting too much".
NHS Blood and Transplant says it will be looking at the service covering the county and says it wants to ensure it is not overstocking with supplies.
It says that donor sessions will still be held in Shropshire, whatever the outcome of the review, but says it is unable to explain in detail what implications it will have on donors.
Donors will be contacted in the coming days with the full details of the review.
NHS Blood and Transplant collects blood on a regional and a national basis and the service plans the sessions to collect the right amount of blood that patients need.
It manages blood and platelet donation, and organ, stem cell and tissue donation and transplantation.
The service says that any changes will not affect the ability to supply blood to local hospitals.
It says that there is a national trend seeing decline in blood use is a global trend due to improvements in clinical practice and improved surgical procedures, such as keyhole surgery.
It still needs to collect around 6,000 donations a day to meet the needs of hospital patients and will still need nearly 200,000 new donors a year, but says it doesn't want to waste precious resources by collecting more blood than is needed.
Pam Pye, a spokeswoman for NHS Blood and Transplant, said: “We are planning to review our blood donation programme in Shropshire. We greatly value the generosity and commitment shown by our local donors and we will let them know more details very soon.
“The amount of blood hospitals use is declining. It is important that we do not waste precious donations by collecting too much blood.
“Blood donation saves lives and we would love to see our donors continuing to donate at all our available local sessions.”
NHS Blood and Transplant says it will still be running campaigns to attract new donors to secure supplies for the future and ensure it has the right mix of blood groups as every year thousands of donors can no longer donate for reasons such as illness, pregnancy, and foreign travel.
Currently, donations are made at sessions held in local community centres at regular dates, as well as at permanent blood donor centres, the nearest to Shropshire being in Birmingham.
Visits to community centres are normally done two or three times per year, but this can be more often, depending on the number of local blood donors.
Prospective donors register and then make an appointment for a session and on the day are given a health screening and then the blood is taken ready to be used in hospitals nationwide.