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National Blood Service Centre, Newcastle

Volume 450: debated on Wednesday 25 October 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many full-time employees are employed at the National Blood Service Centre at Barrack Road, Newcastle upon Tyne; and what plans she has for the centre. (94832)

NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT), of which the National Blood Service (NBS) is an operating division, is currently developing a strategic plan. This will address how NHSBT must adapt to the challenges it faces in a rapidly changing health service and to continue to deliver the high quality services that patients need. This strategy is due to be presented to the board later this year, and therefore no decisions have been made yet.

However, one of the draft proposals is for the NBS to consolidate testing and processing into three main centres. These draft proposals will not impact upon the service to hospitals and there are no proposals to close any blood donation sessions. The NBS will continue to provide critical services to hospitals (such as continuing to have a network of local blood banks to meet orders for blood) and is looking to broaden the choice of places where people can donate.

The NBS employs 372 whole time equivalents in Newcastle, including those out-posted staff on mobile blood collection teams.