Blood donors in Manchester and surrounding areas are being urged to keep donating as normal if they are fit and healthy.
Giving blood is classed as essential travel and both Manchester Donor Centres will stay open with appointments remaining as normal. NHS Blood and Transplant is issuing a reminder of the exemption to donors as the strictest Covid-19 restrictions are put into place across the UK.
Peter Baughan, Head of Blood Donation for the North at NHS Blood and Transplant said: “We have seen a fantastic response from blood donors so far in the pandemic and blood stocks have remained good.
“With these updated Covid-19 measures coming into effect in the community, it’s important for anyone in the area who has an upcoming appointment to donate blood to please stick to it if you can, as blood donation remains essential for NHS and patient care and is exempt from travel restrictions.
“Blood saves lives and donating is something you can do to help the NHS at this time. Extra safety measures are in place on session and our doors are very much open.”
Both Manchester donor centre’s appointment fill rates for the next four weeks currently average around 30% full. New and existing donors are encouraged to book appointments now to ensure there is enough blood available to supply hospitals in the coming weeks and months.
Extra appointments have been made available in Manchester and elsewhere to help meet the rising demand for blood from hospitals over the coming weeks as elective surgery continues to resume.
Since the Covid-19 outbreak, extra safety measures have been introduced across all blood donation sessions. All donors are triaged with a temperature check on arrival as an additional measure to protect staff and donors. If a donor has a temperature of 37.5 or above – which is a Covid-19 risk factor – they will not be able to donate or enter the session.
The NHS state: “When entering, hand gels and hand washing facilities are available, donors are spaced apart and staff are doing extra cleaning. Staff are wearing face masks and donors are required to wear a face covering and keep it on throughout their time on session, removing it only for refreshments.
“Please follow all relevant Government transport guidance when making a journey into, within or out of any affected areas, and it is a requirement to wear a face covering on public transport and in taxis.”
Around 5,000 units of blood need to be collected by the NHS each day.
Blood is used for treating trauma, cancer, blood diseases, bleeds in childbirth, and much more. Each donation can save up to three lives.Manchester has two permanent blood donor centres:
- Manchester Norfolk House Donor Centre – Norfolk House, Brown Street, Manchester, M2 1DA.
- Manchester Plymouth Grove Donor Centre – Plymouth Grove, Manchester, 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.