Weather: Suffolk people urged to give blood

HEALTH Secretary Andrew Lansley today urged people in Suffolk to give blood after bad weather decimated stocks.

Mr Lansley made the plea as he visited the West End Blood Donor Centre in Central London.

NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) has called for blood donors to come forward, especially those with Group O Negative blood, as poor weather has affected stocks.

Giving blood is vital to ensure that patients undergoing surgery and receiving treatment for cancer and blood diseases, such as leukaemia, continue to receive the transfusions they need.

Bad weather over the past few weeks has made it difficult for staff and donors to reach donation sessions, leaving stocks of O negative lower than usual.

Group O negative, known as the universal donor, is particularly important as this blood can be given safely to patients with other blood groups.

Mr Lansley said: “Giving blood is an incredibly generous act and I am grateful to the millions of people who give blood every year.

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“The NHS needs 7,000 units of blood every day, regardless of the weather.

“The recent bad weather has made it difficult for staff and donors to attend sessions and give blood and this has had an impact on the availability of some blood types.

“I would like to encourage anyone who is able to, to visit a centre like this one in central London and give blood as soon as they can so the NHS can continue to carry out the procedures that require blood every day.”

Jon Latham, Assistant Director of Blood Donation at NHSBT, said:

“To boost stocks we need to ensure that we make the most of the sessions that are going ahead despite the bad weather to try to make up for the cancellations in other areas and urge donors to make every effort to attend if they possibly can.

“We especially need O negative donors at the moment as we have experienced higher than expected orders for this type of blood recently.

“If you have an appointment please try to keep it and if, for some reason you cannot, please re-book your appointment as soon as possible. New donors are always welcome too.”

Visit to find out how you can donate blood in your area.