Blood donors across Wales are being asked to ‘keep donating’ during the Wales-wide firebreak to help the Welsh Blood Service maintain healthy blood stocks for the NHS.
In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Welsh Blood Service introduced a new collections schedule where donations are taken from around five regional donation hubs across Wales each week.
The regional donation hubs are at different locations every week and they have temporarily replaced the old model which involved donation sessions being offered at around 30 donation venues each week.
Reducing the number of venues it operates has enabled the Service to safeguard its collections programme against Covid-19 related venue cancellations and staffing pressures. It has also allowed for collection venues to be fully adapted for social distancing and thoroughly sanitised before, during and after each session.
Alan Prosser, Director of the Welsh Blood Service, said: “We want every donor to know that travel to a blood donation venue throughout the forthcoming Wales-wide firebreak, and any subsequent regional lockdown that is implemented, is considered “essential travel” under Welsh Government guidance.
“Throughout the pandemic, donors have continued to go even further out of their way than they usually would just to make a potentially lifesaving donation and we cannot thank them enough for their continued support.
“Blood stocks in Wales have remained healthy throughout the pandemic thanks to the commitment of new and existing donors but we need people to keep giving blood to ensure we can continue to meet hospital demand in the coming months.”
The Welsh Blood Service says that blood collection sessions are safe. Its staff are trained in infection control and the collection sessions are organised to allow for safe social distancing.