Someone wants your blood this Halloween

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It may be true that Count Dracula and his blood-sucking buddies are the stuff of myth and legend, but one very real issue facing the NHS this winter is the need to keep blood stocks high.

The NHS needs to collect 1.4 million units of blood each year. That equates to nearly 6,000 blood donations every day across England to meet the needs of hospital patients. So, we’re saying ‘starve a vampire, save a human’ and urging everybody who is able to, to give blood this winter.

Blood donor numbers have been rising and falling in recent years, depending on where you live. This year in Leicester there were 415 more blood donations than in 2016, with a grand total of 2,947 people giving blood. However, North West Leicestershire and Rutland saw 47 and 159 fewer donations respectively, in the same period.

There are a number of places to give blood across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland. One such place is the new Monor House which opened for donations on 24 October 2018, replacing the old centre on Vaughan Way. The new centre is in the heart of the city and is increasing from six to nine donation chairs, enabling the team there to collect double the amount of blood and making it easier for donors to donate. The interior is spacious, modern and colourful with Wi-Fi and TVs and you can make appointments over your phone with easy to use Apps. New donors can still enjoy the traditional free refreshments including tea, coffee and biscuits!

Nationally, the NHS needs over 200,000 new blood donors each year to replace those who stop donating and to ensure we have the right mix of blood groups to match patient needs in the future. In particular, the NHS urgently needs 40,000 more black donors as they are more likely to have the blood type needed to treat the increasing number of patients suffering from sickle cell disease. In Leicester, 23% of active donors are Asian. People from the same ethnic background are more likely to share blood groups but there is a national shortage of black and Asian donors.

Booking an appointment to give blood is quick and easy. Call 0300 123 23 23 or visit www.blood.co.uk and you can find your nearest blood donation centre here: https://my.blood.co.uk

If you can’t find an appointment straightaway, please make an appointment for the new year. The NHS is currently prioritising existing donors to help build stocks for Christmas but donations are needed throughout the year.