Intended for healthcare professionals


Shake up for blood transfusion service

BMJ 1995; 311 doi: (Published 02 December 1995) Cite this as: BMJ 1995;311:1456

Final plans to reorganise the blood transfusion service in England were announced this week by health secretary Stephen Dorrell. Administration, now spread among 13 centres, will be concentrated at three centres, in Leeds, Bristol, and London. Two more blood banks, in London and Lincolnshire, will be added to the existing 15 banks, guaranteeing emergency blood supplies to any hospital within two hours. A new computer system will enable blood stocks to be managed nationally.

Mr Dorrell said that the changes, to be phased in over three years, would end the duplication of administrative and clinical support services that had made it difficult to move blood stores from one region to another. The streamlining, however, will create some 300 redundancies among blood transfusion staff—one in 13 of all staff. Processing and testing of blood will cease at five centres—Lancaster, Oxford, Cambridge, Liverpool, and Plymouth—although they will remain as supply depots. Savings of pounds sterling10m ($15m) in running the National Blood Transfusion service are estimated. A blood donor's charter would promise that donors' blood would be used to benefit patients and would not be sold.—JACK WARDEN, parliamentary correspondent, BMJ