Advocacy as the number of blood donors in the district drops

A PLEA has been released as new figures show the number of blood donors in the district has fallen to its lowest level in at least six years.

The latest data from NHS Blood and Transplant reveals that 4,808 people in the Bradford district gave blood in the 12 months to March this year – the fewest since at least 2016, when figures were first available.

Demand for blood has plummeted during the pandemic as hospitals suspend routine operations.

But there is an increased need for supplies as activity resumes, which, coupled with declining donations, has sparked the advocacy.

Figures show the number of new donors in the district has also fallen – in the 12 months to March the total was 597, down from 600 the previous year and 1,250 in the period to March 2020.

And the number of new people registering to donate blood has fallen below pre-pandemic levels – 1,761 people registered in 2021-22, down from 3,127 in 2019-20.

The declining numbers are reflected nationwide.

Across England, in the 12 months to March this year, 789,840 people donated. This compares to 878,612 in 2015-2016.

To make up for the shortfall, NHS Blood and Transplant has set itself the goal of recruiting almost 175,000 new donors nationwide, including 18,337 in Yorkshire.

All blood types are screened, but the NHS is particularly short of O-negative and B-negative types, and is encouraging people to get tested to see if they have rare blood in demand that could save lives.

Alex Cullen, head of blood donation marketing for NHS Blood and Transplant, said: “The NHS needs more donors of all blood types over the next five years.

“We also particularly need more black African and black Caribbean donors to help sickle cell patients.

“A mass public campaign is being held throughout this month to identify people whose blood types are most needed. This year we are encouraging more people to donate and find out their blood type.”

This month has also seen countries around the world celebrate World Blood Donor Day. It raises awareness of the need for safe blood and blood products and honors all voluntary donors.

For more information on blood donation and to register, visit blood.co.uk, call 0300 123 23 23 or download the GiveBloodNHS app. The website includes details on who can donate blood and how to find out what your blood type is.


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