Busiest blood centre closing for refurbishment to collect up to 20,000 more donations a year from Londoners

13 June 2018

London West End Donor CentreDuring autumn 2018 NHS Blood and Transplant will be expanding and modernising its flagship West End Blood Donation Centre to provide donors with a better experience. The refurbished centre will be modern, brighter, and more comfortable and allow more donors to donate by introducing three extra donation chairs.

The West End Donor Centre, which is close to Oxford Circus tube station, is the busiest donor centre in the country with 45,072 blood donations made in 2017. Its prime location makes it the perfect place to recruit new donors, especially new black and Asian donors. When the centre re-opens in late autumn 2018 there will be more appointments available making it easier to donate.

While the West End Donor Centre is undergoing refurbishment, donors are being asked to donate at a temporary venue just a five-minute walk away from the West End Donor Centre at the Royal College of Nursing, 20 Cavendish Square, W1G 0RN. Donors are being asked to continue to donate to help make sure hospital patients get the blood they need.

Mike Stredder, Director of Blood Donation, said; “Expanding the West End Donor Centre will enable us to give our donors a better experience and also collect up to 20,000 more lifesaving blood and platelet donations in the capital.

“Nationally, most of our donors are aged over 45. London has a younger population than the rest of the country and the expansion will enable us to recruit more young donors.

“There is also an urgent need for more black and Asian blood donors to come forward. People from the same ethnic background are more likely to share the same blood group but there is a shortage of black and Asian donors. This expansion will help us to collect more blood from London’s diverse population, many of whom have the valuable B positive and Ro blood groups.

“We would like to thank the Royal College of Nursing for their support in ensuring donors can continue to donate during this time. Please check our website regularly for availability – we still need your donations.”

Donors can also donate at sessions held in community venues or at other London Donation Centres in Edgware or Tooting:

Edgware –Westgate House, Edgware Community Hospital, Burnt Oak Broadway, HA8 0AD

Tooting –75 Cranmer Terrace, Tooting, SW17 0RB

You can book your appointment in the usual way via the app, online at www.blood.co.uk or by calling 0300 123 23 23. The need for donations continues every day and every time you donate you help to save and improve lives.

NHS Blood and Transplant needs nearly 6,000 blood donations every day across England to meet the needs of hospital patients.

  • To find your nearest blood donation session and to book an appointment to donate, call 0300 123 2323 visit  www.blood.co.uk




Press Release notes

  • During 2017, 25,628 donors made a least one donation at the West End Donor Centre.
  • The average of a donor at the WEDC is 37

NHSBT Notes to editors

  • NHS Blood and Transplant is a joint England and Wales Special Health Authority. We are responsible for ensuring a safe and efficient supply of blood and associated services to the NHS in England. We are also the organ donation organisation for the UK and are responsible for matching and allocating donated organs.
  • Blood donors can search for sessions, book appointments, change/cancel their appointments and change their contact details in real time at blood.co.uk
  • There are apps available for Android, Windows and Apple Smartphone and tablet devices which enable donors to search for sessions based on their location and book and manage appointments.
  • Our donor line - 0300 123 23 23 - is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week with all calls charged at the standard local rate, even from mobile phones
  • NHS Blood and Transplant needs to collect 1.4 million units of blood each year to meet the needs of patients across England. It’s important that we collect the right amount of each blood group at the right time to meet patient needs.
  • There are four main blood groups – O, A, B and AB. Group O is the most common and therefore the most in demand. A regular supply of blood is vital – red cells last 35 days and platelets only 7 days
  • The overall demand for blood is falling by 3-4% per year.  This is due to improvements in clinical practice and is a trend that is being seen around the world. The drop in demand for blood is also thanks to our work with hospitals to ensure blood is used appropriately for patients.
  • We need nearly 250,000 new blood donors this year to replace those who no longer donate for reasons such as ill health, pregnancy or foreign travel and to ensure we have the right mix of blood groups to match patient needs in the future
  • Some blood groups, such as O negative (the universal blood group), A negative and B negative are particularly vulnerable to shortfalls. So we want people with those blood groups to donate as regularly as they can.  We also need more black African, black Caribbean, mixed race and South Asian people to become blood donors to reflect the ethnic diversity of patients
  • Female whole blood donors can give blood every 16 weeks, while male blood donors must wait 12 weeks between donations. Platelets can be donated every 2 weeks.