NHS Blood and Transplant has issued an amber alert on blood stocks and asked hospitals to put measures in place to ensure that blood remains available for those in greatest need.
Hospitals will continue to carry out any urgent, emergency or trauma surgery, cancer surgery, transplant surgery and blood transfusions to treat people with long term conditions, but this could mean making difficult decisions to postpone some non-urgent elective surgeries.
We’re currently asking O positive and O negative donors who live or work near our Donor Centres in Bradford, Bristol, Liverpool, London Tooting, London Westfield Stratford City, Luton and Southampton to book a slot and asking all other donors to please keep any appointments already booked.
Donors can help by filling empty appointments at permanent donor centres in towns and cities which have extended hours and greater capacity. O blood groups are in particular need.
Each donation can save or improve up to three lives.
The amber alert will last initially for four weeks which should enable blood stocks to be rebuilt.
Blood can only be stored for 35 days, which means there is a constant need for donations – and a need for specific blood types. The NHS Blood and Transplant appointment system carefully balances the supply of blood with the changing demand from patients and hospitals. Collecting too much blood and the wrong type would mean lifesaving blood is wasted and hospitals may not have the right type available for patients when they need it.
NHS Blood and Transplant is working closely with the Department of Health and Social Care, NHS England, the other UK blood services and hospitals to manage the current stock shortage.
New to Donation?
Find out more about giving blood for the first time.
Please visit the Give Blood Website for more information or to register or sign in to your account.