Ending blood-donor sessions in Rothbury is ‘disgraceful’

Blood-donor sessions are ending in Rothbury.
Blood-donor sessions are ending in Rothbury.

A controversial decision to scrap blood-donor sessions in Rothbury has been criticised, with councillors describing it as a disgraceful move which beggars belief.

NHS Blood and Transplant says that it is cutting the sessions because of the ‘limited number’ of donors the village can accommodate, but members of the parish council believe it is in fact a cost-cutting exercise.

Rothbury has held six-bed sessions at the Jubilee Hall, but, as reported in last week’s Gazette, the group wants to move to nine-bed sessions.

It is quitting the village because ‘it can’t find a suitable alternative’ to accommodate this larger type of session.

It means that the final session in Rothbury will be on Wednesday, August 16, from 1.55pm to 3.55pm and 4.45pm to 7.05pm.

But councillors are not impressed. They are demanding answers and want the group to make a U-turn.

Speaking at last Wednesday’s Rothbury Parish Council meeting, County councillor Steven Bridgett said: “I am going to query this. It really is ironic that they haven’t been able to find alternative premises given the fact that we have 12 beds at the village hospital – which is a perfect location.”

Chairman Caroline Dawson added: “It is disgraceful. It was always very busy and well attended and a lot of people that give blood now won’t be able to.”

Coun Peter Dawson wants a group representative to meet the parish council.

He said: “Like a lot of people in this community, I was a blood donor for a lot of years.

“How they can justify this decision beggars belief. It comes down to the fact that this is a cost-cutting exercise. They are trying to save money and yet again, because of where we live, we suffer. Not only do we suffer, but people needing blood suffer because of decisions like this.

“I suggest we write a strongly-worded letter to this group and ask a senior representative to come to one of our meetings and justify this decision and tell us what space they need for nine beds.”

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