Urgent call for Birmingham blood donors to fill empty appointments

The NHS is issuing an urgent plea to blood donors in Birmingham to make and keep an appointment to donate to help ensure hospitals can continue to treat patients over a potentially challenging winter.

NHS Blood and Transplant needs to build strong blood stocks this winter to help hospitals through a second wave of Covid-19 as well as seasonal pressures. Blood donations are always needed for routine care – demand for blood is almost at pre-pandemic levels yet there is less space on session to collect blood now due to social distancing.

Extra appointments have been made available in Birmingham and elsewhere to help meet these challenges. But fewer people are travelling into the city centre to work and shop due to the pandemic, which means Birmingham Donor Centre has more unfilled appointments than usual. Only two in five appointments during November are currently booked.

Giving blood is exempt from Covid-19 travel restrictions, even during a full lockdown, and Birmingham Donor Centre remains open with appointments operating as normal. Peter Baughan, Head of Blood Donation for the North at NHS Blood and Transplant said:

“We urgently need our donors to make and keep an appointment to give blood at Birmingham Donor Centre. Currently blood stocks are good but as we enter what could be a very challenging winter period we need our loyal donors more than ever to help us to keep hospitals supplied with lifesaving blood.

“Birmingham Donor Centre is 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.

Donors are reminded to follow all relevant Government transport guidance when making a journey to give blood.

Hospitals need blood for routine operations, saving accident victims and treating patients with serious illnesses like cancer. Each donation can save or improve up to three lives.

Birmingham has a permanent blood donor centre at 65 New Street. You can 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 at blood.co.uk.


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