Apologies for donor issue

In response to John Weakley’s letter (No Wonder Blood Stocks Are Down, August 7). I am sorry Mr Weakley’s experience fell short of the service we aim to provide our blood donors.

We introduced the blood donation appointment system to help improve the experience for donors and the efficiency of the service and we encourage donors to make appointments.

As with all IT systems, very occasionally we experience unforseen problems and we are sorry Mr Weakley could not book an appointment.

When someone has booked an appointment we aim to complete their donation within an hour.

We do also balance the appointment system with provision for walk-in donors.

Our sessions are, however, carefully planned to collect blood in-line with hospitals’ needs and when sessions are very busy we are not able to accommodate all walk-in donors.

Changes in clinical practice mean across the country, and globally, there is a reduced need for blood, but we do still need to collect 6,000 donations a day.

We need to collect the right amount of blood at the right time for patients so we don’t waste volunteers’ precious donations.

Our blood stocks are currently in a healthy position but we run regular awareness campaigns to encourage new donors to come forward.

Every year thousands of donors can no longer donate for reasons such as illness, pregnancy and foreign travel.

If we don’t attract new donors, it will become increasingly difficult for us to provide the blood the NHS needs for patients in the future.

I would like to thank Mr Weakley for his dedication to blood donation, we really appreciate all our donors who help us to save lives on a daily basis.

Jane Griffiths

Head of Region

NHS Blood and Transplant

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