For Information

Price changes 2017/18: Apheresis platelets, red blood cells, collection charges
The price changes follow a recommendation accepted by the Department of Health.

The price for apheresis platelets will rise to £219.30 on 1 April.

The charge will apply when hospital customers order and NHSBT supply apheresis platelets. When a pooled platelet is ordered and NHSBT provide apheresis the pooled price will apply. When apheresis is ordered and pooled is supplied, the pooled price will apply.

With the introduction of 100% HEV testing the price of red blood cells will rise to £124.46 from 1 May. This follows an increase from £120 to £122.35 on 1 April.

An £11 charge for orders collected by hospital customers or their representatives will be introduced on 1 May. The charge is ‘per order made’ not ‘per collection’.

Chris Philips, Head of Customer Services

Revised Sickle Cell Disease patient information leaflet
The Patient Blood Management Practitioner Team have revised ‘Information for patients with Sickle Cell Disease who may need a blood transfusion’, effective from 16 January 2017.

Please ensure that all old copies are removed from circulation and order revised copies, free of charge, from the distribution hub

Denise Watson, Patient Blood Management Practitioner


Clinical audit of RCI on-call referrals starting 1 April 2017
RCI continues to see an increasing number of on-call referrals. As part of our ongoing clinical audit programme, RCI will be undertaking an audit of on-call activity.

The objectives are:

  • to better understand the character of the referred cases
  • to understand the reasons for the urgency
  • to estimate the proportion of referrals in which blood transfusion was required within, or soon after, the on-call period.

Staff conducting the audit may be in touch to collect supporting data and we would be very grateful if you would help.

The audit has completed a pilot phase at RCI Newcastle and will commence nationally on 1 April. The audit period may vary between RCI laboratories in line with activity levels but we anticipate data collection will be completed by the end of July 2017.

Mark Williams, Head of RCI

RCI laboratories accredited to ISO15189

RCI are pleased to announce that UKAS have confirmed accreditation to ISO15189 for all 8 RCI laboratories (registration number 8740). The accreditation covers the full range of RCI’s testing repertoire, and the schedule of accreditation is available on the UKAS website by searching on NHSBT.

Mark Williams, Head of RCI

SHOT symposium: keynote speaker, Phil Hammond on Patient Safety
Phil Hammond is an NHS doctor, campaigner, health writer, investigative journalist, broadcaster, speaker and comedian. He has done all these jobs imperfectly and part-time since 1987, and was also a lecturer in medical communication at the Universities of Birmingham and Bristol.

We have a stimulating programme for the day including an interactive session for everyone to get involved and examples of ‘best practice’, steps that you have taken to improve transfusion safety.

The subsidised delegate fee is £110. Please complete the application form on the SHOT website by Friday 30 June.

The deadline for abstract submission is Friday 28 April and the best abstract will be allocated an oral slot.

Rothamsted Centre for Research and Enterprise

Date: 12 July 2017

Posters to raise awareness of 24 hours notice for requests for HLA matched platelets
We have seen a steady increase in orders with less than 24 hours notice, which is now approaching 50% of orders received nationally. We require 24 hours notice to provide HLA selected platelets for planned procedures. This ensures we have sufficient time to transport the best available HLA matched product for the patient across the country to the hospital. Having less than 24 hours notice often results in a less well matched product being provided for the patient, in order to meet the requested delivery time.

To help raise awareness about ordering in a timely manner, we have produced a new poster. Hard copies can be ordered from (stock code BLC672.2). Another poster gives information on the value of the increment count following transfusion of a HLA selected platelet (stock code BLC733).

Please place these posters in any clinical areas where these products are required, to help us to ensure every patient receives the best available HLA selected product. Also place in other areas where they will be seen by healthcare professionals, to provide guidance and training.

If you have any comments or would like information please contact Helen North

Helen North, Clinical Scientist

New resources added to a reviewed platelet page on the Hospitals and Science web site

Following the release of British Society of Haematology (BSH) guidelines for the use of platelet transfusions and the National Blood Transfusion Committee (NBTC) Indication Codes, the platelet page on the Hospitals and Science web site has been reviewed, and a number of items have been removed or amended in line with the national guidance.

The National Platelet Action Group has produced new resources and added links to other resources to support hospitals with appropriate use of platelets, which are available now or will be available soon.

  • Nursing Times article – strategies to reduce inappropriate use of platelet transfusions
  • Summary of BSH platelet guidance
  • SHOT key messages for ATRs – platelets in PAS
  • Appropriate use of platelets across blood groups
  • Apheresis platelet myth buster electronic poster
  • Teaching slide set – appropriate use of platelets

Jayne Addison, Patient Blood Management Practitioner