06 November 2018
The island’s blood donation service has reopened following an extensive refurbishment that has brought the valuable facility up to UK and European standards.
Updates have cost £100,000 and include new donor beds, new testing equipment and a state-of-the-art temperature-control system to ensure donations are kept in correct storage conditions. There is also a sound-proof booth in which donors can share confidential information without being overheard.
The Jersey Blood Service closed in January following an internal audit identifying that a number of improvements had to be made. It has been recently inspected by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency and found to meet UK and European standards.
Staff working in the donor suite, which is still in its former location at the hospital, are looking forward to welcoming donors old and new.
Laboratory manager Julie Bellamy said: “We are very pleased to be reopening the island’s blood donor service. Whilst there was some debate as to whether we should re-site blood donation, we listened to our donors and decided to keep blood collection at the General Hospital.
“Through the generosity of our donors the service collects approximately 2,500 units of blood per year, meaning the island is largely self-sufficient in its blood supply, only importing specialised products. The donations are used to treat patients in many situations such as major surgery, childbirth, cancer treatment and emergencies.
“We would like to thank our current blood donors for their patience and support whilst we have been undertaking this work, and the donor room and laboratory staff for all their hard work. We are looking forward to welcoming back our regular blood donors and wish to encourage new donors to come forward. So, if you are between the ages of 17 and 65 and are fit and well we would like to hear from you."
The Minister for Health and Community Services, Deputy Richard Renouf, who is issuing the blood service with its new operating licence said: “This much-needed refurbishment will ensure that each part of the process for donating blood – from taking confidential information from donors to using new, advanced equipment for grouping blood samples – is now up to date and in line with UK and European standards.”
The refurbishment follows an internal audit by the department in October 2017 that identified a number of changes to be made in order to bring the service into line with the UK’s Blood Safety and Quality Regulations and the EU Blood Directives. Whilst these are not legally binding on the island, they are considered to be best practice. While the service was closed, blood was imported into the island from the UK.
For further information please contact us by visiting the Blood Service page or telephone on 442695 or email firstname.lastname@example.org