“Give Blood, Save Lives” urges Health Minister

The Minister for Health and Social Services, Lesley Griffiths, is urging everyone who is able to give blood to step up as we head towards the holiday period.

Blood stocks vary according to type, and rare groups especially can deplete rapidly if there is a sudden surge in demand.

The Health Minister visited the testing and processing laboratories in the Welsh Blood Service headquarters. She followed a pint of donated blood from its arrival in the Talbot Green centre through the processes needed to store it.

The Minister then called into the donation suite to chat to people who donate at the headquarters.

Rhys Williams is a regular donor. He made a New Year’s Resolution to start giving and has given over 5 pints. He knows the importance of keeping his appointments. He said:

“I made a New Year’s resolution a couple of years ago to become a donor, so I’m a relatively late starter. However, I’m now a very dedicated donor and can’t believe I didn’t start earlier.

“I recommend giving blood to anyone who can. It doesn’t take long, but the feeling of well-being you have, knowing that this one small thing will have helped someone medically, it’s entirely worth while. I’m immensely proud to be supporting patients in Wales.”

The Health Minister, Lesley Griffiths said:

“One in three people in Wales will need blood in their lifetime but only one in 30 will ever donate.
“No-one really understands how important blood donations are until you need blood yourself. Hopefully, you never will. However this vital support has saved thousands of lives, from people involved in accidents to those battling debilitating illnesses like cancer and leukaemia or even inherited conditions, who need regular transfusions.

“The Welsh Blood Service has just taken possession of a fleet of branded vehicles to transport their equipment around Wales. I hope their increased visibility will encourage donors who have not given for a while, as well as new donors to see a donation session, walk in, give blood and save lives.”

Dr Geoff Poole, Director of the Welsh Blood Service gave a tour around the facilities said

“It is incredibly important our hospitals continue to have adequate supplies of blood to help save lives. Easter and bank holidays increase the pressure on the blood supply which is why we are asking and encouraging those who have never donated before or not given in a while, to come forward and act now.”