NHS bosses want one million more blood donors over the next five years. The Mirror reports NHS Blood and Transplant said it particularly needs those with the rarest blood types.
The number of active donors, those donating in the last year, fell during the pandemic from nearly 808,000 in March 2020 to just over 750,000 in February 2021. Stephen Cornes, of NHS Blood and Transplant, said: “We urgently need new black African and black Caribbean donors to come forward.
“We also need one million new donors over the next five years of all blood types. As the NHS treats more patients, we need to grow the total number of donors too.”
With hospitals desperately trying to catch up on a huge backlog of cases caused by lockdowns, demand for blood is again soaring. The NHS is short of 75,000 regular donors and stocks are now supplied by the smallest pool in the 21st century.
NHS Blood and Transplant campaigns director Helen Duggan said: “Maintaining a safe and regular supply of blood to hospitals is our top priority. Through the most critical time of the pandemic this was achieved thanks to a loyal club of existing donors, the smallest for 25 years.”
Patients need blood all year around and the NHS needs to ensure a steady supply. In some areas of the country there are limited appointments for first-time donors so if you cannot find a slot straight away, please search a few weeks or months ahead. Visit www.blood.co.uk or call 0300 123 23 23 to register.
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