198 working days to go before we will be operating as a service in North Wales!

Several key milestones have been achieved in June/ July as move from the planning to the implementation phase of the All Wales Blood Service programme.

Business Case approval

During June, Velindre NHS Trust received formal notification from the Welsh Government regarding the approval of the All Wales Blood Service Business Justification Case. This means that both capital and revenue funding are available to support the development of the new service.

Ministerial Announcement and Deputy Ministers visit to North Wales
On the 8th July, the Health Minister Mark Drakeford confirmed his support of the creation of an All Wales Blood Service in a written statement. The Welsh Government announcement also coincided with the Deputy Health Minister, Vaughan Gething, attending a blood donation session in North Wales. During this visit the Deputy Minister spoke with Donors, NHS Blood & Transplant (NHSBT) and Welsh Blood Service staff and the media about the benefits of the new All Wales Blood Service.

Legal Directives
As of the 13th July 2015, the Welsh Government has published amended legal directions relating to NHSBT’s changing role in Wales. The directions will enable NHSBT to support the creation of an All Wales Blood Service and assist in the required service transition. They can be accessed at http://gov.wales/legislation/subordinate/nonsi/nhswales/2015/directions-22/?lang=en

Procurement and fit out of East Wales estate
Following the approval of the AWBS business case and the Minister’s announcement, work to secure our preferred WBS base in Wrexham has continued. Planning permission, including change of use, was approved by Wrexham Council on the 11th June 2015. Tenders for the fit out have closed and a contractor will be appointed imminently to carry out the necessary works on site. The legal process to secure the lease has concluded and, as such, we expect to be able to officially occupy the site very soon. A start up meeting with the successful contractor and the landlord will go ahead on the 17th July 2015, with work on site hopefully starting soon after this

We will continue to provide further updates on the All Wales Blood Service as the programme progresses. In the meantime, if you have any questions please contact Gavin Bryce, Principal Programme Manager on gavin.bryce@wales.nhs.uk.