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Blood: Testing

Volume 475: debated on Monday 28 April 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the change in capacity in processing and testing of blood resulting from the consolidation by the National Blood Service of testing and processing facilities. (200799)

The National Blood Service (NBS) needs to improve efficiency and provide value for money for the national health service. The changes set out in the strategy review will allow the NBS to stabilise the cost of blood to hospitals.

The NBS strategy review demonstrated that the service is currently operating at 40 per cent. excess capacity in blood processing and 35 per cent. excess capacity in blood testing. The consolidation of processing and testing sites to six and five respectively will retain a good geographic spread across the country, while enabling the service to be more productive and ensuring the necessary flexibility to meet clinical and safety requirements now and in the future. The changes set out in the review will remove 24 per cent. excess capacity in processing and 28 per cent. in testing.

The current network of 15 blood issue sites (where blood is stocked and from which it is issued) will continue to supply hospitals with blood, as and when they need it.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate has been made of the financial effects on the National Blood Service of the consolidation of testing and processing facilities. (200800)

The consolidation of processing and testing facilities will produce cumulative savings of £9.9 million up to 2010-11.