HRH The Princess Royal opens new world class blood centre in Barnsley

21 July 2021

HRH The Princess Royal has officially opened the new NHS Blood and Transplant Blood Centre in Barnsley. The official opening took place on the afternoon of Tuesday 20 July 2021.

HRH Princess Royal opens the new centre in BarnsleyHer Royal Highness spoke with several members of staff at the facility including Head of Centre, Chris Sims, who explained about the lifesaving work that happens not only at that centre, but up and down the country thanks to the generosity of blood donors.

Mr Sims said, “We’re very proud of our new centre which is going to provide colleagues with a really great working environment. It was an honour and a privilege to showcase our wonderful work to HRH The Princess Royal and highlight the great work we do in helping patients receive lifesaving services.”

NHS Blood and Transplant is responsible for blood, organ, tissue and stem cell donation, carrying out cutting edge research and providing specialist services to hospitals.

The Barnsley centre was created after the consolidation of centres in Leeds and Sheffield and provides lifesaving blood products to 39 hospitals in the north of England.

HRH Princess Royal talks with staff at the new Barnsley centreIt will also be home to many teams and functions including specialist training laboratories, cellular and molecular therapies, blood and organ compatibility testing and specialist nurses in organ donation.

The new centre, just off the M1, will enable NHS Blood and Transplant to distribute blood products and deliver world class laboratory services as well as offer the opportunity to create new advanced cell therapies, supporting NHS patients across the north of England. 

It also houses a brand-new plasma donation centre which was set up during the Covid-19 pandemic response. This centre now enables people to donate plasma for medicines, saving the lives of people with immune disorders. More than 1,000 donations a needed a week around the country, which will help bolster future NHS supplies of immunoglobulin medicine.

Over the next 12 months it is estimated that 205,000 red cell units of blood, 37,000 units of platelets and 21,000 units of fresh frozen plasma will be issued from this site to help save or improve the lives of patients in hospital. [1]


  1. Plasma donation does not contribute to our stocks of FFP. Plasma donated for medicines is used solely for immunoglobulins. We’ll keep getting fresh frozen plasma by recovering it from blood.