Welsh Blood Service supports vital Public Health Wales screening programme

A collaboration between the Welsh Blood Service and Public Health Wales will see a mobile blood collections vehicle being used as an abdominal aneurysm screening venue in Abergavenny town centre in November and December.

Public Health Wales will be hosting its abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) screening on the Welsh Blood Service vehicle located at the Waitrose car park in the town centre, the same location it typically hosts blood donation sessions.

Alan Prosser, Director of the Welsh Blood Service, said: “Due to social distancing requirements our mobile donation vehicles aren’t currently suitable for blood donation sessions as they aren’t able to safely accommodate the number of staff and donors we require.

“AAA screening requires far fewer people on board the vehicle at any time so we’re delighted our vehicles can be used for this important work while they are unavailable to us.


“We’d like blood donors in Abergavenny to be aware that the vehicle will be located in the same spot as it would usually be for blood donation sessions but that it’s currently being used for important screening activity and not for blood donation. We plan to re-instate our mobile blood collections activity once it is safe to do so.”


The Welsh Blood Service regularly collaborates with NHS Health Boards across Wales, most recently through a partnership with Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board that allowed blood collections sessions to be held at the Covid-19 field hospital in Bridgend.


Dr Sharon Hillier, Director of Screening Services said: “This is a shining example of how NHS organisations have been able to work collaboratively to help save or improve lives. We are extremely grateful to the Welsh Blood Service for giving us access to one of their vehicles to enable this much needed screening to go ahead.”


Abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) screening is a way of checking if there’s a bulge or swelling in the aorta, the main blood vessel that runs from the heart down through the stomach. This bulge or swelling is called an abdominal aortic aneurysm, or AAA. It can be serious if it’s not spotted early on because it could get bigger and eventually burst (rupture).


There are usually no signs or symptoms of an AAA. The easiest way to find an AAA is by having a simple ultrasound scan of the abdomen. Screening enables early detection.


Every 65 year old man in Wales and who is registered with a GP practice is invited to take part in the AAA screening programme. The process involves a simple and painless ultrasound scan to measure the abdominal aorta.


The AAA screening programme will be in the Waitrose Abergavenny car park on 12th and 13th November and 3rd and 4th December 2020.