Luton blood donors urged to fill extra appointments to help NHS through summer as demand increases
Registered donors can expect a letter if they don’t currently have a slot booked
Blood donors in Luton 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 Luton donor centre in St George's Square to help meet the growing need.
Currently only 6 in 10 of appointments in July are booked, but 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 help in Luton over the summer 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 – are the lifeblood of the emergency services and donations are always needed.
B negative is one of the rarest blood types. It is hard to find donors with this blood type, so donors with this type are needed to keep stocks up and help patients.
This week the NHS is writing to all registered donors in Luton who don’t currently have an appointment booked urging them to make a donation.
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 Luton donor centre.
“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.
“Luton 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.
The appeal coincides with landmark new individualised eligibility criteria for blood donation, which will allow many more people to donate while keeping blood just as safe. 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.
Book appointments and check the latest guidance on Covid-19 and giving blood by visiting the website blood.co.uk, calling 0300 123 23 23, or downloading the NHS Give Blood app.