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TWI Supports the NHS Blood and Transplant Service


TWI welcomed the NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) service to our Cambridge headquarters on 6 August so that people from across Granta Park could donate blood and platelets. Taking advantage of our facilities, the NHS brought all the necessary equipment with them to offer a fast, effective, and user-friendly service to donors throughout the afternoon and into the early evening. With another blood donor session set to take place in December, we took a moment to find out more about the work of the service, the experience of donating, and how they plan to use the donations they receive.

Interviews with donors

Donating blood or platelets

The process of donating takes under an hour from registration to a quick blood test through to donating and then taking a moment to recover. With experienced, caring and compassionate staff on hand at all times there really is nothing to worry about when it comes to donating to the NHSBT.

The service will take just under one pint of blood from each donor, which is enough to save three lives! However, while the service runs sessions 7 days a week at around 1500 donor venues around the country, there is always a need for fresh donations. This is especially true for those from ethnic minorities, where there is a real need to recruit more donors.

If you are planning to donate, it is advised that you make sure to drink enough fluids before you do so (not alcohol!) and also ensure you have eaten before you attend your appointment. It is also advised that you leave your dressing on for at least 6 hours following your donation and avoid any heavy lifting, strenuous exercise or heat (for example, from saunas or a hot bath) for the rest of the day.

Donating platelets is a longer process, taking between 90 minutes and two hours, and you would need to speak with a member of NHSBT staff in order to organise this.

Where your donation goes

The majority of donations are used by patients, such as those who have experienced blood loss or are undergoing cancer treatments. However, blood donations can also occasionally be used for laboratory work, education, training, and research. Surplus donations, where they occur, can also be used by NHSBT or other commercial operations to produce healthcare products. Any money gained from these operations is used for the benefit of the NHS.

UK blood donations are collected at sites in Filton, Colindale and Manchester, while platelets go to local collection points (such as Addenbrookes Hospital in Cambridge), due to their short, 7-day shelf life. Platelets are transfused to patients who need help to stop bleeding and are particularly important for cancer treatments.

Register for the next session

TWI is proud to be able to support the efforts of the NHSBT as part of our corporate and social responsibility remit to the wider community and you can get involved and make a difference by registering for the next donor session, which is due to take place at our Cambridge site in December.

Please see here for more information and to register for the next donor session.

For more information please email: