Blood donors are being turned away because they are struggling to use the NHS’s new online booking system
- NHS has moved from walk-in visits to an appointment only model for donors
- Long-time donors have complained about having to use online system
- New figures revealed that male donors have declined by one quarter in five years
Life-long blood donors are being turned away at centre because of a new NHS online booking system that has ’caused chaos’, it has emerged.
The Blood and Transplant agency have put in place an appointment-only model which no longer prioritises walk-ins, after they scrapped ‘mobile blood vans’ which used to visit high streets and workplaces.
The revelation comes days after figures revealed that the number of male donors have worryingly fallen by one quarter in five years (466,346 in 2013/14 to 350,425 by 2018/19).
Life-long blood donors are being turned away at centre because of a chaotic new NHS online booking system, it has emerged
Members of the public well versed in giving blood over decades are now saying the online system is hard to use, oversubscribed or they would turn up only to find their appointment had been cancelled
Members of the public well versed in giving blood over decades are now saying the online system is hard to use, oversubscribed or they would turn up only to find their appointment had been cancelled, according to the Daily Telegraph.
The Blood and Transplant have said that they still take phone bookings.
Tim Grimes, 69, from Macclesfield, in Cheshire, who has given blood for almost 50 years said he turned up to find his appointment had been cancelled.
‘The system has now just made it more and more difficult to make a donation, as though they are doing us a favour,’ Mr Grimes told the Telegraph.
The NHS is also urging people with O negative blood to check whether their family members also have it and encourage them to donate due to shortages
‘I recently received a call inviting me to donate because they were short of my blood group, but they could not give me an appointment at my usual centre until October.’
Charities described the situation as ‘crazy’, and said more needed to be done by the NHS to help older people, who make up a considerable bulk of donations.
Roger Gilbert, 47, from Cuffley, in Herts, said he would happily join the queue if he saw a donation unit, as his sister and father had both been helped by receiving transfusions.
But when he signed up to Blood.co.uk he found all the local slots were booked up, but attended an available date because he believed he could wait his turn.
But it is claimed staff told him that they only dealt with online appointments, and that he would have to wait for at least two hours to potentially be seen.
The Blood and Transplant agency have put in place an appointment-only model which no longer allows for walk-ins, after they scrapped ‘mobile blood units’ which used to visit high streets and workplaces
‘I do not use a ‘smartphone’ and can only assume that the available appointments are snapped up by those who do,’ he said.
Health chiefs have called for more men to donate following the news of the considerable decline in donor numbers.
Females now make up around two thirds of new donors.
NHS Blood and Transplant apologised for such blunders, but said it had moved to the new system because it is better at matching demand for specific types of blood with need.
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