FAIR: New donor eligibility questions

From 14 June 2021 the questions we ask before you give blood will change.

The  Welsh Blood Service (along with the other UK Blood Services) will be starting to assess donor eligibility on a person-by-person basis for declared lifestyle choices; instead of applying across-the-board restrictions which have previously excluded potential donors.

Using a donor’s individual experiences to determine whether that person is eligible to donate makes the process fairer for all donors and means more people will be able to give blood than ever before.

It also means we will be asking every donor the same questions – regardless of age, gender or sexual orientation.

These changes to the way UK blood services assess the risk of transfusion transmitted infections incorporate the key recommendations of the 2020 FAIR (For the Assessment of Individualised Risk) Report – click here to read the report. The recommendations were designed by epidemiology, sexual health and infectious disease experts to make sure we keep the blood supply safe while making blood donation fairer and more accessible to all.

What will these new questions be?

You will be asked whether, within the last three months:

  • you have had a sexually transmitted disease (including gonorrhoea)
  • you have taken part in chemsex? (Chemsex is defined as sexual activity, often in groups, under the influence of stimulant drugs, excluding cannabis, alcohol and Viagra, to enhance sexual experience). This risk applies for all sexual contact.
  • you have had anal sex with multiple partners or a new sexual partner with or without a condom or other protection. For the purpose of donor selection, a new partner is someone that you have not had sex with before or a previous partner with whom you have restarted a sexual relationship.

If your answer is ‘yes’ to any of these questions, you will not be eligible to give blood for another three months.

In addition, you will be asked whether you:

  • regularly have anal sex with or without a condom or other protection with more than one person?
  • take Pre Exposure Prophylaxis for HIV (PrEP) continuously?
  • have ever had syphilis?

If your answer is ‘yes’ to any of these questions, you will not be eligible to give blood.

If you have any further questions about these changes please do not hesitate to get in touch by calling 0800 252266 or email donors@wales.nhs.uk

Over the coming weeks, in readiness for the implementation of these recommendations on June 14 these new questions will be added to eligibility questionnaire new and existing donors complete prior to their donation.

We realise that being asked about specific sexual practices is something you may not be used to or find embarrassing. However, we hope you will understand the need for these questions and answer them completely honestly as this is very important in maintaining the safety of the blood supply.

To read the news announcement regarding these changes click here.

What will we do with the information you give us?

We keep a record of all donors, donations and test results. We use this information to:

  • keep donors and patients safe.
  • let you know when and where to donate.
  • get in touch about any problems.
  • improve our service.
  • check we’re meeting our standards.
  • help recruit new donors.

The information you give us is not linked to any other NHS or clinical records. All our staff are trained in confidentiality, and personal information is kept secure and only shared with other organisations if needed to deliver our service. We keep information about donors and donations for at least 30 years. You can find out more, including information about your rights, on our website here.


Do you have any concerns around your sexual health after answering these questions? Find out more:

To find out more about the FAIR report visit:

Executive summary

Full report

 

For online support on sexual health, visit:

NHS 111 Wales

Frisky Wales

Public Health Network Cymru

 

For online support around drug use, visit:

NHS 111 Wales

Dan247

Thank you for working with us to introduce this important new approach to assessing donor health.