Letter: Long-term cost of losing local blood donor staff

The 13 local staff who have collected blood donations for around 19 years have been made redundant and will be replaced by staff travelling from the mainland to three large centres for monthly sessions.

Giving blood

We always welcome a Letter to the Editor to share with readers. If you have something you’d like to share, get in touch. This letter comes from from David Howarth. Ed

I attended a routine blood donation session on Wednesday last week at Freshwater Memorial Hall – I have donated blood most of my adult life so have clocked up some 69 donations.

I was surprised to find that this was to be the very last session by the Isle of Wight team. Some 13 loyal staff are being made redundant.

Local sessions collect blood donations
7,000 units of blood are donated annually on the Island at a number of local sessions convenient for the donors near their homes or workplaces.

Indeed these friendly sessions are part of community living, and an opportunity to meet like-minded people. The team have worked together for almost 19 years.

Cutting costs
Well, apparently this is another “cost saving” measure. Future sessions will be conducted by mainland staff at three giant centres at Ryde, Cowes and Newport at monthly intervals.

I wonder how the cost benefit calculation was made – did it take into account future ferry costs, costs of redundancies, and possible benefits to be paid to out of work Island staff?

The prospect of attending super sized sessions at Cowes Yacht Haven sounds rather daunting, and a 30 mile round trip to contemplate.

Lack of consultation?
Of course, blood donors happily give their time (and blood) at no cost to the service at all. In these circumstances, why were we not consulted on the proposals?

It certainly seems that we have been taken for granted.

Image: rvoegtli under CC BY 2.0

Monday, 30th September, 2013 12:01pm


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7 Comments on "Letter: Long-term cost of losing local blood donor staff"

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“I wonder how the cost benefit calculation was made” So do I. I trust we will be allowed to compare before and after figures, including travel costs from the mainland. Donors keep being told how important their donations are, and how stocks are dangerously low, but this seems to suggest otherwise. It will be interesting to see the effect of these changes on uptake – I can’t… Read more »

Surely it would have been better to reduce the team size, but keep it on the Island. I can’t imagine just why a 13 member team is needed can you? A team half that size should be able to do the job.

Robert Jones
This wasn’t a decision taken by the local NHS, I believe, so very few of us knew what was going to happen until it did: and I agree the lack of any consultation is deplorable. I can well imagine that donors feel their good will has been taken for granted, and I’m sad for the staff. I would like to thank the writer, though, and all who… Read more »

Did I hear recently that a synthetic version of blood is on its way? Maybe this is part of a gradual fade-out of donation. It may come to seem very strange that this was the way we used to replenish supplies.

Old Knobby

True Blood?

When you came in the air went out
And every shadow filled up with doubt
I don’t know who you think you are
But before the night is through
I wanna do bad things with you

After giving 51 pints of blood I have to give up because of the Blood Service. I regularly give blood and proud to do so. I regularly commute to the Mainland to work. Since the new mainland team have taken over I cannot get a appointment after 18.00 hrs which the previous service provided. I suspect this is so the non island team can return at a… Read more »