Thursday, August 29, 2013
Blood service reduces its donor sessions to just six locations in the region.
PEOPLE in North Devon will now only be able to give blood at six locations after cuts to the service.
From the autumn blood donor sessions will only be held at Bude, Barnstaple, Bideford, Holsworthy, Filleigh Village Hall and Chulmleigh.
NHS Blood and Transplant says everyone who wants to give blood can still do so, but admits some may now face a longer journey to donate.
Health service union Unison has condemned the decision and claims this could mean journeys of around 12 miles for some donors.
It also said it understood some staff were being lost due to a voluntary redundancy scheme.
“North Devon has some of the most loyal donors anywhere in the country and when they’re short of donors nationally, we see this as a ridiculous move,” union spokesman Stuart Roden said.
“People who rely on public transport in this rural area are not going to be able to jump on a bus to go 20 or so miles to give blood. I see this as another attack on rural communities.”
The blood service wrote to donors in May, informing them of possible changes. Regional operations manager Peter Taylor said they had to deliver services as efficiently and effectively as possible to ensure more money was available for frontline patient care.
“It would not be efficient to collect blood in every single village, town and city,” he said.
“So what we want to do is our best to ensure we are never too far away for those who want to donate while collecting the right amount of blood hospitals need.”
To find your nearest session visit www.blood.co.uk or call NHS Blood and Transplant on 0300 123 23 23.