Patients in Wales

When will the Welsh Blood Service (WBS) become an all Wales Blood Service (AWBS)?

The Welsh Government announced its intention to move towards an all-Wales Blood Service on 13th June 2012. In July 2015, the Minister for Health and Social Services announced that the new service, which will be known as the Welsh Blood Service, will go live in May 2016 .

With the introduction of the AWBS, which organisation will supply blood and blood components to my local hospital?

When we have the all-Wales Blood Service, the Welsh Blood Service will be responsible for all aspects of blood collection across Wales. This includes processing, testing and storage before distribution to Welsh hospitals.

NHS Blood and Transplant will continue to supply blood components to hospitals in England and solid organs and tissues to UK health services.

With the introduction of the AWBS, where will blood and blood components be collected from?

All the blood and blood components will be collected from donors in Wales and distributed to Welsh hospitals from 2016.

Are there any risks to patients?

As always, quality and safety are paramount.

All UK Services are committed to maintaining the highest standards of quality and effectiveness and are regulated by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency.

Will there always be blood components available?

The top priority of the Welsh Blood Service will always be to deliver a safe and dependable supply of blood components to customer hospitals in Wales.

Stock levels are monitored daily and we work closely with customer hospitals through the management of both supply and demand for blood.

Blood shortages are rare in the UK and this is because of the incredible generosity of our donors.

All UK blood services have in place a reciprocal agreement to provide mutual assistance in the event of a blood shortage or unplanned event that affects their ability to supply hospitals.

Will stringent testing of blood components remain the same?

Yes. There are a number of mandatory blood safety tests carried out on every single blood and platelet donation we receive. These tests are performed within our laboratories using computer-controlled automated machines.