As I write this update, we are literally days away from go live when the Welsh Blood Service will be responsible for the collection, testing and processing of blood collected from North Wales Donors. The Welsh Blood Service (WBS) will then be responsible for the issue of finished blood components to Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board (BCUHB) for patients requiring these as part of their treatment.
I am pleased to report that the All Wales Blood Service (AWBS) Programme is in an advanced state of readiness, with all of the infrastructure including staff, vehicles, IT, buildings and equipment having been tested and in place and ready to go.
The expansion of the WBS’s service into North Wales is a significant milestone in the Welsh Blood Services history and one we are looking forward to. We have achieved a lot in a short space of time and this would not have been possible without the support of our staff, and our colleagues at NHS Blood and Transplant who have fully supported the AWBS Programme implementation.
We have also enjoyed a high level of support from our future customer, Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, its Clinicians, Managers and allied Health Professionals who have been so positive and engaged. We look forward to working closely with them and will strive to deliver the best possible service for patients.
We also warmly welcome the transfer of 43 collection team and donor relations staff currently employed by NHSBT to the Welsh Blood Service . We look forward to continuing to provide a high level of service to the donors in North Wales.
In addition, 16 new staff have started with the WBS as a result of the AWBS to support the extended service. These staff will be working in a variety of both donor facing and none donor facing support roles.
Lastly, I would like to thank the North Wales Donors who selflessly give their time to donate blood that is then used for life saving and life enhancing treatments. We look forward to welcoming you to the new service in May. We have been working very hard to minimise the amount of changes that you will experience, but we do accept that there will be a period whilst the new service beds in. We will ensure that there will be additional staff on hand during this period to support you and our new staff to minimise any disruption during your donation experience.
– Gavin Bryce, Principal Programme Manager, All Wales Blood Service