October 2014

NHSBT theupdate

For Action

1.1 Removal of “High-Titre” status from Red Cell Labels

Further to item 1.2 in the July update we wish to remind you that NHSBT will be removing the High-Titre (HT) status from all red cell labels, in line with other UK Blood Services and recommendations made by Joint UK Blood Transfusion and Tissue Transplantation Services Professional Advisory Committee (JPAC) in the “Guidelines for the Blood Transfusion Services in the United Kingdom”.

The removal of HT status from the labels of red cells will not compromise patient care, as all components intended for neonatal use are guaranteed to be tested and negative for high-titre anti-A/B.

Platelet, Plasma and White Cell components will still be labelled HT negative as appropriate.

The change will be implemented from January 2015.

Action Required

Please ensure your local Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and Laboratory Information Management Systems (LIMS) are amended to remove the requirement for red cells to be ‘HT Negative’.

If you have any concerns please contact your local Customer Service Manager.

Heather Aplin, Lead Customer Service Manager – Projects

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1.2 Proposed consolidation of the service for the provision of HLA selected platelets

Following a series of process improvement activities concerning the provision of HLA selected platelets the Histocompatibility and Immunogenetics function have begun a process to consolidate the administrative activities in relation to the provision of HLA selected platelets into two regions, North and South. The intention of this consolidation is to improve the management of apheresis stock to enable us to provide the most appropriate selected units for your patients in a timely manner.

These changes will also ensure a robust structure is in place to assist in delivering planned recent changes in the supply chain strategy, which were communicated to you in August 2014.

Subject to consultation with staff, we aim to complete this consolidation by March 2015. We anticipate that these changes will have minimal impact to our customers. However, if you are affected we will be in touch with you in due course regarding changes that are specific to your hospital.

Please note there will be no change to your clinical service provision or hospital services departments as a result of this consolidation.

In the meantime, can we please take this opportunity to remind you to provide H&I with at least 24 hours notice where possible when requesting HLA selected platelets to enable us to provide the most appropriate unit for your patients.

Dr Andrea Harmer PhD FRCPath, National Head of H&I

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1.3 Update: Secure Distribution of Invoices and Backing Data

To improve the security of sending patient-identifiable data required for invoicing, we have initiated the process of sending invoices and backing data electronically.

We are now in a position to send both invoices and backing data for Specialist Services to ‘safe haven’ email accounts effective 20th October 2014. Blood and Blood Components invoices are scheduled to be sent electronically in April 2015.

Thank you to all hospitals that provided either an NHS.net email account or an additional secure email address to receive separate passwords for individually-encrypted documents.

Please be aware that if an appropriate email address has not been provided, we will be required to send invoices to you by Special Delivery post and we will need to charge you for this additional expense.

For a copy of the letter ‘Electronic Backing Data Distribution’ sent to hospitals in March 2014 please click here.

Michelle Ray, Customer Service Manager (Oxford and Southampton)

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For Information

2.1 Improving availability of Ro Red Cells

A cross-functional Operational Improvement Event was held recently to look at the increasing problem of meeting demand for Ro red cells. Representatives from across NHSBT met to discuss ways of improving the supply of this relatively rare blood phenotype. The Ro phenotype is more prevalent in Black and Asian Minorities, and requests for Ror red cells are increasing as exchange transfusion is used more frequently to treat patients with sickle disease. The event opened with an appeal from Dr Sara Trompeter from University College Hospital London which has one of the largest clinics for patients with this disease, in which compatible transfusions can be life-saving.

As a result of this event, actions are being taken across the whole supply chain, including

• recruitment of more Black, Asian and Minorities Ethic donors through selective marketing

• ensuring sessions are planned in the right locations at the right time

• having collection teams who will ensure donors know how valuable their donations are,

• ensuring testing and manufacturing departments ‘fast-track’ the donations so that hospital services   can easily identify and then distribute the units to the centres that require them.

Helen Mugridge, South-West Hospital Services Manager

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2.2 New resources available from the Patient Blood Management Team

The Patient Blood Management Team have produced a new Patient Information Leaflet and several educational resources for healthcare staff to promote the safe and appropriate use of blood components and their alternatives.

The new resources include:

  • Patient Blood Management – information for patients. This leaflet focuses on the aspects of Patient Blood Management (PBM) and was launched at the British Blood Transfusion Society conference in September. PBM is a multi-disciplinary, evidence based approach to optimising the care of patients who might need a transfusion, and is focused on involving patients at the very centre of their care and decision making process wherever possible.
  • Standard Cryoprecipitate and Methylene Blue treated Cryoprecipitate factsheet for healthcare staff and Standard Fresh Frozen Plasma factsheet for healthcare staff. These factsheets explain the component, dosage, practical instructions for their use and compatibility of the components.
  • Size Matters supports a recommendation from the National Comparative Audit of the Medical Use of Blood to consider the patient’s weight when prescribing and transfusing blood components.
  • Single Unit Transfusions supports the National PBM recommendation to transfuse one unit of blood component at a time in non-bleeding patients.

The ‘Size Matters’ and ‘Single Unit Transfusions’ resources are available in various formats: posters, A5 flyers, screensavers and PowerPoint slides.

All of the above resources can be viewed and downloaded from the Hospitals and Science website http://hospital.blood.co.uk or alternatively ordered on-line via the Access-24 website https://ww3.access-24.co.uk/

Login and password details are available from the Customer Service Support team in Oxford on 01865 381042.

Denise Watson, Regional Lead: Patient Blood Management Team

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Training and Education

3.1 Patient Blood Management Team National Conference – 4 weeks to go!

NHS Blood and Transplant’s Patient Blood Management Team is pleased to extend an invitation to you to attend a national one day conference.

Patient Blood Management in Clinical Haematology is aimed at nurses, medical staff and other healthcare professionals working in clinical haematology and bone marrow transplant specialties, with a specific focus on use of blood component support and alternatives.

Key themes of the conference will include:

  • Safety of blood and the hazards of transfusion
  • Empowering patients: information and consent for transfusion
  • Non-medical authorising of blood components
  • Management of anaemia in haematology
  • Red cell transfusion triggers: when and how much to transfuse
  • Use of platelets in haematology, prophylaxis and assessment of bleeding
  • Transfusion reactions: identification and management

The conference is being held on Wednesday 19th November at the Hilton Metropole Hotel, National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham.

The day delegate fee is £60 per person.

For an application form and programme details please go to http://hospital.blood.co.uk/safe_use/patient_blood_management/index.asp

Katy Hurrell, Patient Blood Management Practitioner 

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3.2 Training & Education Events and Courses

A full list of NHSBT training events, which are open to hospital personnel, is available on the training area of our website.

If you have any queries regarding the above, please do not hesitate to contact your local Customer Service Manager, Patient Blood Management Practitioner or either of us using the details below.

For further information please visit the NHS Blood and Transplant hospitals website on:


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