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Blood Transfusion

Volume 928: debated on Friday 18 March 1977

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many units of blood the National Blood Transfusion Service provides annually; and what proportion is supplied to private hospitals and nursing homes.

In 1975, the latest year for which complete figures are available, the National Blood Transfusion Service in England and Wales collected 1,768,838 donations of blood. Most of this was supplied to hospitals as whole blood, but a substantial proportion was fractionated to provide individual blood components. Details of the proportions supplied to private hospitals and nursing homes are not available centrally, but I am having inquiries made and will write to my hon. Friend.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what is the annual overall cost of the National Blood Transfusion Service.

The cost of the National Blood Transfusion Service in England and Wales, including the central blood products laboratories, was £15,759,427 in 1975–76.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what are the circumstances in which charges are made for services relating to the supply of blood to private hospitals or nursing homes; if such charges include an appropriate proportion of the overheads of the National Blood Transfusion Service for each unit supplied; what is his estimate of the present cost of overheads in terms of units supplied; and if he will make a statement.

No charge is made for the blood itself. When blood is supplied by a NHS hospital to a private hospital or nursing home the hospital is expected to levy a charge for the pathological services involved, including a contribution to overheads. Where a regional transfusion centre supplies blood direct to a private hospital or nursing home no charge for the services involved is made at present. I am having inquiries made into the amounts of blood and blood components supplied to private hospitals and nursing homes, to see whether the introduction of a charge involving the apportionment of all relevant overheads would be justified.