People living in Birmingham and Solihull are being encouraged to think about giving the gift of blood this Christmas to help boost stocks.
Patients need lifesaving transfusions throughout the year but during December blood donations drop.
Martin Fahy, NHS Birmingham and Solihull Clinical Commissioning Group’s Deputy Chief Nurse, said: “We’re supporting NHS Blood and Transplant’s appeal because we know blood saves lives and are urging existing donors to make and keep their appointments this November and December.
“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 Birmingham and Solihull.”
There is a dedicated centre to take donations in Birmingham. It can be found at Birmingham Donor Centre, 65 New Street, Birmingham, B2 4DU.
Jon Latham, Assistant Director of Blood Donation at NHS Blood and Transplant, said: “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 Transplant 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 www.blood.co.uk