Blood-donor sessions to be ended in village

Giving blood.
Giving blood.

Blood-donor sessions in Rothbury are to be scrapped due to the ‘limited number’ of donors that the village can accommodate.

Rothbury will hold its last appointments on Wednesday, August 16, at the Jubilee Institute.

But the decision has been described as surprising by the area’s county councillor Steven Bridgett, while donors have also expressed their dismay.

Explaining the change, Jennifer Brownlee, of NHS Blood and Transplant, said: “Hospital blood use is declining by three-to-four per cent a year and this means that sometimes we need to make changes to sessions.

“We have made the difficult decision to close the session at the Jubilee Institute in Rothbury and we thank our donors for their life-saving generosity. This was a six-bed session that could only accommodate a limited number of donors.

“We’re moving from six-bed sessions, like in Rothbury, to nine-bed sessions because we are able to see a higher number of donors in each session.

“We can collect the right amount of blood more efficiently at nine-bed donor sessions and we hope people understand it’s important we keep costs for the wider NHS as low as possible. We were unable to find a suitable alternative venue in Rothbury that could accommodate a nine-bed session.”

Reacting on Facebook, Coun Bridgett wrote: ‘It is a great shame. I find this move a little surprising as I know that this area is quite unique for the number of people who carry B negative, AB positive and AB negative – some of the rarest types of blood.’

His post prompted numerous comments, with one critic branding the decision short-sighted, while another said she won’t be able to donate as frequently.

Jennifer Brownlee added: “We have let our donors know about the change and alternative sessions in locations including Morpeth and Alnwick. Donors can visit www.blood.co.uk or call 0300 123 23 23 to find details. Although we understand that it may not be possible for some people who have to travel.”

There is a session taking place on Sunday, June 25, at Willowburn Sports and Leisure Centre, in Alnwick, from 11am to 1pm and 2.30pm to 4.30pm.