Blood donors in London are being urged by the NHS to make and keep an appointment to donate over the critical summer months, as demand for blood creeps back to normal capacity. Extra appointments have been added at four London donor centres to help meet this rise in demand.
During June, only the following appointments are currently booked*:
3 in 10 appointments at Shepherd’s Bush donor centre
5 in 10 appointments at Stratford donor centre
3 in 10 appointments at Twickenham donor centre
6 in 10 appointments at West End donor centre
As life and the NHS begins to return to normal, NHS Blood and Transplant needs to keep blood stocks strong. New, regular and returning blood donors are urged to make and keep an appointment in London over the summer months to help ensure patients continue to get the lifesaving blood they need for emergencies, childbirth, surgery, cancer treatment and to treat blood and medical conditions.
Right now there is a particular need for more donors with certain blood types, though all types remain in demand. O negative donors – the universal blood type (1) – are the lifeblood of the emergency services and donations are always needed.
B negative is one of the rarest blood types (2). It is hard to find donors with this blood type, so donors with this type are needed to keep stocks up and help patients.
Nadine Eaton, Head of Blood Donation Marketing at NHS Blood and Transplant, said: “We want all patients to get the lifesaving blood they need over the summer months and are appealing to our amazing donors to make and keep an appointment to give blood at four of our donor centres in London.
“We are seeing a rise in demand for blood from hospitals, so we need our loyal donors more than ever to help us to keep hospitals supplied with lifesaving blood. Each donation can save or improve up to three lives.
“All donor centres in London are open as usual with extra safety measures in place. If you are fit and healthy please make an appointment to donate. If you need to cancel please let us know as soon as possible.”
Extra safety measures are in place across all blood donation sessions. All donors are triaged with a temperature check on arrival. Hand gels and hand washing facilities are available, donors are spaced apart and staff are doing extra cleaning. Staff and donors wear face coverings.
The appeal from NHS Blood and Transplant for donors to book extra appointments for the summer months coincides with landmark new individualised eligibility criteria for blood donation, which will allow many more people to donate while keeping blood just as safe (3). From June 14 anyone who has had the same sexual partner for the last three months will be eligible to donate, providing other eligibility criteria are met. In particular, this change will enable more people from the LGBT+ community to donate.
Give blood and help the NHS this summer:
London’s donor centres with extra appointments are:
Shepherd’s Bush donor centre, 1st Floor, Westfield, Shepherd’s Bush, London, W12 7GF
Stratford donor centre, Lower Ground Floor, Westfield, Stratford City, E20 1EJ
Twickenham donor centre, Floor 8, Regal House, 70 London Road, Twickenham, TW1 3QS
West End donor centre, 26 Margaret Street, London, W1W 8NB
Book appointments and check the latest guidance on Covid-19 and giving blood by calling 0300 123 23 23, downloading the NHS Give Blood app, or visiting the website blood.co.uk.
Donors are reminded to follow all relevant Government transport guidance when making a journey to give blood.