Printed at: 07:45:55 / 18-10-2019
Home / Please keep your blood donation appointment in the run up to Christmas

Please keep your blood donation appointment in the run up to Christmas

Luton & Dunstable University Hospital is supporting the NHS blood donations appeal for people to make and keep appointments to give blood before Christmas.

Patients need lifesaving transfusions throughout the year but during December blood donations drop. There are around 1506 blood donors in Luton. Each blood donation they make will save up to three lives.

There is a dedicated blood donor centre at St Georges Square, 2-4 Bridge Street, Luton LU1 2NF

Emma Martin, Donor Centre Manager said: “We are supporting this appeal because Patients in Luton will need life-saving blood over the festive season. Please don’t wait for Christmas though – donate now. Hospitals need blood to be ready for the festive season.

She added, “Please keep your appointment when you have one – patients need you to be there.”

NHS Blood and Transplant said it needs blood throughout November and December to build up stocks for the Christmas break.

This appeal is specifically for existing blood donors – people who have already donated before.

Blood donations drop because people have Christmas plans and shopping and they are more likely to have winter colds. There can be spells of bad weather which put people off travelling to sessions. However seriously ill hospital patients need blood throughout the year in Luton.

Jon Latham, Assistant Director of Blood Donation at NHS Blood and Transplant, said: “We’re really grateful for Luton & Dunstable University Hospital’s support because this is a critical time of the year.

“If you can’t keep your appointment over the festive season, give us 72 hours’ notice and rebook. If you can’t find an appointment, please check 24 hours prior to your session as we always have last minute cancellations.”

People who want to donate for the first time probably won’t be able to find an appointment because NHS Blood and Transplant is prioritising existing donors.

New donors who can’t see an appointment should not worry. NHS Blood and Transplants needs blood all year round and is asking people to make an appointment to donate in the New Year.

  • It is quick and easy to book an appointment to give blood. Call 0300 123 23 23 or visit


Notes to editors

  • NHS Blood and Transplant is a joint England and Wales Special Health Authority. We provide the blood donation service for England and the organ donation service for the UK. We also provide donated tissues, stem cells and cord blood. We are an essential part of the NHS, saving and improving lives through public donation.
  • It is quick and easy to book an appointment to give blood. Call 0300 123 23 23 or visit
  • NHS Blood and Transplant needs to collect 1.4 million units of blood each year to meet the needs of patients across England.
  • There are four main blood groups – O, A, B and AB. O negative (the universal blood group) and B negative are particularly vulnerable to shortfalls. So, we want people with those blood groups to donate as regularly as they can.
  • The overall demand for blood is falling by 3-4% per year due to improvements in clinical practice and our work with hospitals to ensure blood is used appropriately for patients.
  • We need nearly 210,000 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
  • We urgently need 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.