Contingency Planning and Blood Shortage Emergency Planning

For Hospital Use Only

The following information on emergency planning and the management of blood shortages has been issued to hospitals.



A summary of the CMO's National Blood Transfusion Committee Emergency Planning Working Group Recommendations for Hospital Transfusion Services following July 2005 London bombings is available on  Erratum: amendment to recommendations (pdf)


Department of Health website
Provides health and social care policy, guidance and publications.

Urgent Communication
In an emergency situation urgent communication to NHSBT customers regarding products and services, including reagents and non clinical products, will be posted on the Urgent Communication page and will be updated as the situation changes.

Emergency Planning
Information on the management of blood shortages which has been issued to hospitals

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Reprovision Centres

List of NHSBT reprovisioning centres (DAT39) that will supply hospitals if the usual centre is unavailable.

Request for an Emergency Delivery
NHSBT makes emergency deliveries using blue lights and sirens for products requested in response to clinical emergencies. Please ensure that the situation warrents these actions.

Contingency Hospital Service (Issue) Numbers
These numbers are independent of the NHSBT phone system and should only be used if you experience problems contacting hospital service departments using the usual contact numbers.

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NHSBT Bank Holiday Arrangements

Over bank holiday periods increased collection of blood and platelets is planned across NHSBT to ensure a constant supply over the holiday period. During this time we collect blood at extra donation sessions and produce additional platelets. We monitor our stocks across the country and move blood and platelets between centres whenever this is required to ensure an equitable distribution of stock, based on demand.

In order to maintain an adequate supply of platelets over bank holidays it may be necessary to make a small stock of platelets with a 7 day expiry. Please ensure that all staff are aware that these components may be issued along with the standard 5 day expiry platelets. This will be confirmed in advance of any bank holiday period. To assist us with stock management please ask hospital staff to adopt these strategies for ordering platelets (PDF). Which are also appropriate for use in routine circumstances.

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