The NHS has issued an urgent appeal for Londoners to come forward as blood donors.
There is a particular need for O-negative and B-negative donors in the capital to help build stocks ahead of what is expected to be a busy winter period.
Each donation can save or improve up to three lives.
- The NHS needs more O-negative and B-negative donations right now and first-time donors can also help
- There are almost 2,000 appointments available at London donor centres over the next week
- 3-in-5 people in London who registered with Give Blood this year have not yet donated
While overall blood stocks remain above the target of six days’ supply, O-negative and B-negative stocks have come under pressure and donors with those types are being asked to help the NHS build stocks.
Existing O- and B-negative donors who are fit and healthy should call 0300 123 23 23 for a priority appointment and to book in their next appointment as well.
Tooting is one of four major donor centres and has good appointment availability in the coming weeks.
Donors are being asked to keep their appointment or give as much notice as possible if they need to cancel.
“O-negative and B-negative blood stocks are currently lower than we’d like, so we’re encouraging our amazing donors in London to please come forward and help us prepare for the busy winter period,” said Mark Chambers from NHS Blood and Transplant.
“We understand people may have days out and holiday plans during the upcoming school half-term holidays, but please don’t forget your appointment if you have one.
“We also see an increase in appointment cancellations at this time of year due to seasonal illnesses, so we’re asking if donors can please give at least three days’ notice if they need to cancel so the place can be offered to another donor.
“Donor and staff safety is our priority so if you are under the weather, please rest, recover, and rebook.
“We are also urging people who have registered but not yet donated to make their first appointment now. If they don’t know their blood type, then they will find out after donating for the first time – they may have one of the types we need.
“It only takes an hour to give blood and each donation can help save or improve up to three lives.”
In London, 14,000 people who registered with Give Blood in 2023 have yet to make an appointment to donate.
Existing donors for all other blood types are asked to continue donating as normal.
Only 8% of the population have O-negative blood but it accounts for around 14% of the blood hospitals need.
B-negative is one of the rarest blood types, as just 2% of blood donors have it.
Blood is needed to help the NHS treat patients with cancer, blood disorders and those suffering medical trauma or undergoing surgery, and O-negative blood is mostly used for emergency care.
- Register now and book an appointment at blood.co.uk, on the GiveBloodNHS app or telephone 0300 123 23 23.
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