Patient Blood Management

Patient Blood Management (PBM)

PBM is a multidisciplinary, evidence-based approach to optimising the care of patients who might need a blood transfusion. 

PBM follows a number of international and national initiatives over the past 20 years supporting the safe and appropriate use of blood. It was launched in England in June 2012; experts and influencers in the field considered how to ensure the adoption of the Patient Blood Management approach. The conference and subsequent recommendations had the support of NHS England.

PBM is a success story, the reduction in inappropriate transfusion helps to ensure the availability of blood components when there is no alternative; however NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) continues to work with NHS England and the National Blood Transfusion Committee to further support NHS Trusts to manage their blood use effectively. Audits have shown that there remains inappropriate use of blood and blood components. 

For all things PBM follow us on Twitter @PBM_NHS

News - Education resource, April 2024


Blood Essentials, the new comprehensive education and reference tool for blood transfusion is published on the Education page.

As an interactive PDF it is designed to support new Transfusion Practitioners (TPs) establish their knowledge base and assist TPs and healthcare professionals involved in blood transfusion in day-to-day practice.



QS138 Quality Insights Audit Tool

We are delighted to announce that our automated quality improvement national blood transfusion audit tool for hospitals is a 2024 HSJ Digital Awards finalist, in the Driving Change through Data and Analytics category.

The tool supports hospitals to regularly self-assess compliance to the four priority improvement elements of the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) QS138 Quality Standard published in 2016. Its use as a quality improvement initiative is a key recommendation in the 2023 National Comparative Audit of NICE Blood Transfusion Quality Standard QS138 report which states that hospitals should undertake regular repeat audits of the NICE Quality Standard.

Find out more about the tool 


Hospital action during the Amber alert for red blood cell components, 12 October to 9 November 2022

Following the stand down of the alert, we asked hospitals to tell us what actions had a positive impact on reducing their rec blood cell usage/ demand.

We also asked what they thought about our communications, and the tools we provided to support implementation their Emergency Blood Management Arrangements.

Please read the summary (PDF 276KB) or the full report (PDF 1287KB)

Blood Components App

The NHS Blood Components app has been updated and a new web-based version released in line with the 2020 National Blood Transfusion Committee (NBTC) indication Codes for Transfusion in Adults.

A collaboration between NHSBT and the NBTC, the mobile and web-based app is based on NBTC, British Society for Haematology (BSH), and National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidelines to support safe and appropriate use of blood components.

Existing users will receive an automatic update. New users can access the app through Apple and Google Play.

Web-based version

Transfusion 2024: safe patient care for the next 5 years

The Transfusion 2024 report highlights key priorities for clinical and laboratory transfusion practice for safe patient care across the NHS over the next five years. The publication follows a joint symposium held in March 2019 by the National Blood Transfusion Committee (NBTC) and NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) supported by NHS England and Improvement. 

The recommendations for action build on the successes of previous initiatives regarding the safe and appropriate use of blood now co-ordinated across the NHS as Patient Blood Management. There is emphasis on a skilled and trained workforce, better use of data and technology, integrated models of working and promoting inter-operable digital solutions.


SaBTO recommendations for patient consent for blood transfusion

In December 2020 SaBTO (Advisory Committee on the Safety of Blood, Tissues and Organs) published updated recommendations on obtaining patient consent for blood transfusion. These provide additional guidance specific to consent for blood transfusion, including identification of which patients should be consented and duration of consent. The work was undertaken by SaBTO and the final report amended after professional and lay consultation.

Find out more about patient consent

Choosing Wisely UK: improving conversations

Choosing Wisely UK is part of a global initiative aimed at improving conversations between patients and their doctors and nurses; it is an opportunity to promote good practice, and ensure that patients receive appropriate information and participate in decisions about their care. There are five transfusion related recommendations submitted from the Royal College of Pathologists (RCPath), and one from the Intensive Care Society. This leaflet provides more information.

National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE)

NICE guideline Blood Transfusion [NG24] was published in November 2015 and covers the assessment for and management of blood transfusions in adults, young people and children over 1 year old.

NICE Blood Transfusion Quality Standard [QS138] was published in December 2016 and covers the general principles of blood transfusion in adults, young people and children over one year old and describes high-quality care in priority areas for improvement. To audit your compliance with QS138, please use the QS138 Quality Insights Audit tool.