Recommendations follow NHS Blood and Transplant review

A review of NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) recommends that it must continue its work to improve services, ensuring that blood supplies are used appropriately, efficiently and safely.

The recommendations are in a report published today by the Department of Health. The commercial review of the functions of NHSBT was commissioned to consider opportunities for efficiency and effectiveness of the organisation’s non-donor facing activities.

The recommendations, which are designed to ensure that DH and NHSBT work together to maximise opportunities for efficiencies, allowing more money to be made available for frontline patient care, include:

  • NHSBT continuing to work with trusts in order to minimise waste and improve management of blood supplies
  • exploring opportunities to improve efficiencies by closer working across the four UK Blood Services
  • maximising efficiencies wherever possible – for example, buying  specialist equipment.

Following this review, a set of NHSBT pilots will be launched in early 2012. These new sites will work in partnership with NHSBT, focussing on specific areas highlighted in the review to improve the blood and transplant service, including better stock management and a joint transfusion laboratory partnership.

Public Health Minister Anne Milton said:

‘NHS Blood and Transplant is one of the most trusted parts of the health service, and is to be commended for the efficiencies it has already achieved. However, the review shows that further improvements can be made  – improvement that health professionals want and patients need.

‘The review gives us a real opportunity to make a difference to a service that is relied upon across the country. I would also urge hospitals to look at the recommendations and see how they could improve their use of blood to both improve the care of patients and save unnecessary expenditure.’

NHS BT is a joint England and Wales Special Health Authority, established in October 2005, that is responsible for securing safe supply of blood to the NHS. It also provides organs, tissues and stem cells for transplantation.

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