NHS Blood & Transplant are urging blood donors who are fit and healthy to donate blood at their local Manchester donor centre, to help ensure hospitals can continue to treat patients over a potentially challenging winter ahead.
NHS Blood and Transplant need to build strong blood stocks to support hospitals through a second wave of COVID-19 as well as seasonal pressures.
Blood donations are always vital for routine care. Demand for blood is almost at pre-pandemic levels yet, there is less space to collect blood now due to social distancing.
Appointments are available at the city’s two donor centres and elsewhere to help meet these challenges. But fewer people are travelling into the city centre to work and shop due to the pandemic.
This means the donor centres at Norfolk House and Plymouth Grove have more unfilled appointments than usual.
Giving blood, platelets and plasma is exempt from COVID-19 travel restrictions, and both donor centres in Manchester are open and running appointments as normal.
Approximately 5,000 units of blood are needed each day, and the blood you donate can be used to save up to three lives of people needing long-term treatments such as cancer, trauma, blood diseases and bleeds in childbirth.
“We urgently need donors to make and keep an appointment to give blood at our two Manchester donor centres,” says Peter Baughan, Head of Blood Donation for the North at NHS Blood and Transplant.
“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.
“Our Manchester donor centres are 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.”
There are strict safety measures in place across each blood donation session to ensure the safety of donors and staff and to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission.
All donors will have their temperature checked upon arrival. Any donors that display a temperature above 37.5 or above – which is considered a COVID-19 risk factor – will not be able to enter the session.
Strict hygiene measures are in place, and hand gels and handwashing facilities are available for donors. Chairs will be spaced apart, being cleaned regularly by session staff. Donors must wear a face-covering during their session, removing only when at the refreshments table.
Anyone considering travelling to their blood donation session by public transport needs to follow the government’s transport guidelines. Please ensure that a two-metre distance is kept, and face coverings are always worn.
Manchester has two permanent blood donor centres:
Manchester Norfolk House Donor Centre at Norfolk House, Brown Street, M2 1DA.
Manchester Plymouth Grove Donor Centre at Plymouth Grove, M13 9LL.
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 blood.co.uk.