Active donor numbers have fallen during the pandemic and the NHS desperately needs new black African and black Caribbean donors to come forward and help save lives
(Image: Getty Images/iStockphoto)
NHS bosses are urging a million more blood donors to be donated over the next five years.
And NHS Blood and Transplant said they especially need those with the rarest blood types.
Earlier this year, the Daily Mirror launched a campaign to get readers to donate blood after numbers plummeted due to the Covid pandemic.
The number of active donors – i.e. those who have donated in the last year – fell during the pandemic from just under 808,000 in March 2020 to just over 750,000 in February 2021.
NHS Blood and Transplant’s Stephen Cornes said: “We urgently need new black African and black Caribbean donors to come forward.
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“We also need a million new donors of all blood types over the next five years.
“As the NHS treats more patients, we also need to increase the overall number of donors.”
As hospitals desperately try to catch up with a huge backlog of cases caused by lockdowns, the demand for blood is soaring again.
In February, the Mirror called on its readers to help save lives by becoming a donor hero.
The NHS is short of 75,000 regular donors and stocks are now being supplied by the smallest pool in the 21st century as demand returns to pre-pandemic levels.
Helen Duggan, Director of NHS Blood and Transplant Campaigns, said: “Maintaining a safe and regular supply of blood to hospitals is our top priority.
“During the most critical time of the pandemic, this has been achieved thanks to a loyal club of existing donors, the smallest in 25 years.
As hospitals catch up with routine care, we are at a critical crossroads to meet the increasing demand for blood and are appealing to new donors to join this amazing group of life-saving people.
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how can you help
Register as a blood donor today and make your contribution to NHS recovery.
Patients need blood all year round and the NHS needs to ensure a continuous supply.
Some areas of the country have limited appointments for first-time donors. So if you don’t find a place right away, please look a few weeks or months in advance.
Visit www.blood.co.uk or call 0300 123 23 23 to register and save lives.
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/nhs-need-one-million-arms-27213236 The NHS needs a million of our poor to donate blood - especially those with the rarest species