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NHS urges people to donate blood over festive period

The closest donor centre to Waltham Forest residents is in Westfield Shopping Centre Stratford. It has a total of 1,333 free slots over the next two weeks

Credit: Kuarmangadd via Canva

The NHS has appealed to Londoners to book and stick to their blood donation appointments this Christmas.

The appeal comes as the NHS prepares for the challenge of ensuring that blood stocks stay full over the hectic festive period. 

According to NHS Blood and Transplant, in the three weeks over last Christmas and the new year, hospitals needed 1,000 more units of blood than the health service was able to collect.  

The only two days of the year that blood donations are not collected are Christmas Day and New Year’s Day, with appointments available on Christmas Eve and Boxing Day.

The capital has a range of permanent donor centres that have a combined 4,046 spare slots within the next two weeks. The closest donor centre to Waltham Forest residents is in Westfield Shopping Centre Stratford, which has a total of 1,333 free slots over the next fortnight.

People who have registered as a donor but not yet made an appointment to give blood are also being encouraged to make their first donation.


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Mark Chambers, Director of Donor Experience at NHS Blood and Transplant said: “We’re encouraging all of our amazing blood donors in London to please book and keep their appointments and help us save lives this Christmas.

“Demand for lifesaving blood doesn’t stop for Christmas. Many patients will need transfusions over the festive period as treatment for a blood condition or cancer, or due to surgery, childbirth, or an accident.

“We’d also love to welcome anyone giving blood for the first time. If you don’t know your blood type you will find out after donating – you might find out you have the type patients especially need.

“It only takes an hour to give blood and each donation can help save or improve up to three lives.”

For the latest opening hours and to book an appointment call the Stratford Donor Centre on 0300 123 23 23.

If you are new to blood donation, find out how to prepare to give blood and what happens when you donate.


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