National Blood Service centralisation dispute
The vital blood processing and distribution service is to be centralised in management cost cutting insanity which will result in blood being transported hundreds of miles by road and skilled workers losing their jobs. This will directly threaten patients’ lives as the blood is driven on congested motorways from the donation centres to the “super centres” and then back out to hospitals.
The NBS in England currently has 13 regional centres which process and test donated blood before redistribution to the hospitals. However this vital service is under threat with management wanting to condense these regional centres into just 3 to cover the whole of England.
Unlike many NHS trusts, the NBS is not in debt, and operates efficiently with committed workers, many of whom have worked there for decades learning their highly specialised skills on the job.
- Currently processing centres are in : Oxford, Bristol, Southampton, Tooting, Colindale, Brentwood, Manchester, Birmingham, Liverpool, Newcastle, Cambridge, Sheffield and Leeds.
- The 3 proposed “supercentres” will be : Bristol, Manchester and Colindale.
- The National Blood Service role includes : collecting blood from donations from 100’s of sites daily, testing the blood for Hepatitis, HIV, Malaria and Syphilis, filtering the blood and separating into components. This must then be distributed promptly to hospitals.