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Cord Blood

Volume 489: debated on Friday 13 March 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what assessment he has made of the recommendations of the report on cord blood banking in the UK—an international comparison of policy and practice; (262773)

(2) what plans he has for the involvement of (a) Government bodies, (b) the third sector and (c) the private sector in his Department’s consideration of the collection and use of cord blood.

Following the publication of the international comparison report on cord blood banking policy and practice, the Department is assessing the need to enhance national health service cord blood collection services to ensure the United Kingdom remains at the forefront of this work and able to meet its international obligations in matching stem cell donations to patients in need of a transplant.

The two largest UK bodies providing stem cells for unrelated transplant, NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) and the Anthony Nolan Trust, have been asked to report back to us by the end of March 2009. There are no plans to involve other organisations at this time.