STRIDES study reaches million-donor milestone

6 May 2021

The NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) blood donor management research project, STRIDES, now has more than one million donors taking part in the main cluster randomised trial, just 18 months after its launch.

An NHSBT partnership with the University of Cambridge and the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), the STRategies to Improve Donor ExperienceS (STRIDES) study began in November 2019 and is considering the effect of different interventions on the blood donation experience.

STRIDES is one of several blood donor studies coordinated by the NIHR Blood and Transplant Research Unit (BTRU) in Donor Health and Genomics at the University of Cambridge (1).

Ella Poppitt, Chief Nurse - Blood Donation, at NHSBT said: “We are very proud of all the work that has been completed to achieve this incredible milestone of one million donors recruited to the main STRIDES study.

“We are extremely grateful to every donor that has contributed and the efforts on the ground by the blood collection and research teams to enable this to happen.

“This study will improve the effectiveness of interventions on a blood donation session that will make donation even safer for the donor.”

The interventions include changes to leaflets that donors read before donation, drinks offered in the waiting area, and advice given during and after donation.

The study has two additional objectives:

  1. to collect blood samples and questionnaire data from whole blood donors for research purposes.
  2. to establish a panel, or BioResource – part of the NIHR BioResource (2), of thousands of healthy volunteers who are willing to be contacted and asked if they wish to participate in medical and health-related studies.

STRIDES is taking place across all our blood donation centres and mobile sessions and is due to conclude in November 2022.


(1) The NIHR Blood and Transplant Research Unit (BTRU) in Donor Health and Genomics at the University of Cambridge is a cross-disciplinary unit established to address major questions about the health of blood donors and produce evidence-based strategies to enhance donor safety and ensure sustainability of blood supply. The Unit is funded by the NIHR and is a partnership between the University of Cambridge and NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT), in collaboration with the University of Oxford and the Wellcome Sanger Institute.
(2) The NIHR BioResource is at the heart of efforts to improve healthcare and the long-term prevention and treatment of disease and is committed to bringing together researchers and willing volunteers to contribute to leading research that will benefit everyone. The NIHR BioResource seeks to facilitate human health research and its transformation into medical practice.

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