Online upgrades enhances appointment service for website visitors

Donors across Wales will have more control of their blood donation appointments as the Welsh Blood Service has introduced a series of improvements to its online appointment booking system.

Among the improvements, donors that book an appointment online will now:

  • Be given the choice to receive appointment reminders via email, SMS or telephone call at ten days and two days prior to their donation appointment
  • Receive a bespoke link in their reminder which will allow them to cancel their appointment, should they be unable to attend
  • Be encouraged to undertake a donor eligibility quiz before booking an appointment to ensure donors are eligible to donate before they make an appointment

Donors who wish to manage their donations electronically will now be able to find, book and cancel appointments using only digital channels.

Donors who prefer to manage their donations by liaising with the donor contact centre (0800 25 22 66) will continue to receive the same service.

Introduced to donors in February 2017, the online appointment system is now responsible for up to 4,000 bookings per month. In the first year since its introduction, the online appointment system took over 33,000 appointments.

Jon Ellis, head of donor engagement at the Welsh Blood Service said: “We’ve continued to make great progress over the last year in enhancing our digital offering to cater for those donors who wish to have greater control over their appointment bookings.

“These latest upgrades have been introduced to enhance the system for those donors that want to take control of finding, booking and, where necessary, cancelling their own appointments.

“Currently, one in five people that book an appointment are unable to attend. While we fully appreciate that changing circumstances can mean it isn’t always possible to attend a pre-booked appointment, our hope is that the new system will allow donors that cannot attend their appointment to cancel in advance.

“By cancelling an appointment that they cannot attend, donors can make their slot available to other donors who might be hoping to donate.”

The addition of the eligibility quiz upon booking is intended to reduce the instances of donors making unnecessary journeys to donation sessions when they are not eligible to donate. Donors will now be encouraged to check their eligibility before booking to ensure they meet the basic criteria for donation. Routine screening will still be undertaken at donation clinics.

To book your next appointment visit the appointment page. Any feedback on the appointment system can be sent to donor.care@wales.nhs.uk.