United Kingdom

NHS Blood and Transplant
500 North Bristol Park
Filton, Bristol,
BS34 7QH

Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service,
The Jack Copland Centre
52 Research Avenue North
Heriot-Watt Research Park,
EH14 4BE

tel: +44131 314 5510



Welsh Blood Service,
Ely Valley Road,
Talbot Green, Pontyclun, UK, CF72 9WB



N. Ireland Blood Transfusion Service,
Belfast City Hospital Complex,
Lisburn Road,
Belfast, UK, BT9 7TS

The United Kingdom has four Blood Transfusion Services based in each of the four countries comprising the United Kingdom. These are; NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) for England, the Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service (SNBTS), the Welsh Blood Service (WBS) and the Northern Ireland Blood Transfusion Service (NIBTS). The UK Blood Transfusion Services have a body to coordinate co-operation between Services called the UK Forum. The UK Forum has a Joint Professional Advisory Committee (JPAC) concerned with advice and standards which publishes the “Red Book” of transfusion guidelines, operating UK wide change notices on, for example, changes to donor deferral criteria. An independent body, the Advisory Committee on the Safety of Blood, Tissues and Organs (SaBTO) advises UK ministers and health departments on the most appropriate ways to ensure the safety of blood, cells, tissues and organs for transfusion/transplantation. Each blood service is accountable to health ministers in the relevant UK home country.

NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT)

NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) is a Special Health Authority dedicated to saving and improving lives. First and foremost it is a healthcare organisation within the NHS and has front-line services providing care for donors and patients. NHSBT plays a unique role in the NHS – it produces life-saving and life-improving products and treatments from donated blood, organs, tissues and stem cells, and provides a range of related diagnostic and therapeutic services. The workforce, which includes expert manufacturing and logistics capability, provides a lifeline for patients who rely on NHSBT to deliver every day across the length and breadth of the UK.

At NHSBT’s heart are the thousands of donors without whom the service would not be possible. NHSBT cares for the thousands of blood, plasma and stem cell donors who turn up every day, as well as the generous families who, in the depth of grief, consent to organ or tissue donations from their loved ones.

Every year NHSBT delivers:

  • Over 1.4m units of red cells, 250,000 units of platelets and 200,000 plasma components for transfusion to 260 hospitals.
  • 4,000 life-saving organs to 29 UK Transplant Centres.
  • Over 6,000 human tissue products and 2,000 corneas for transplant.
  • 10,000 procedures to around 2,000 patients and donors.
  • Over 1,800 life-saving stem cell transplants.

Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service (SNBTS)

SNBTS is a Strategic Business Unit of NHS National Services Scotland (NSS) which is accountable for delivering a range of specialist services to the Scottish NHS. NSS is a special agency of government responsible to the Scottish Government Health and Social Care Directorate.

SNBTS has one blood processing and testing centre dealing with approximately 250,000 donations per annum from an active donor base of 140,000 collected by 13 teams operating across Scotland (population of 5 million). There are fixed site collection centres in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Dundee, Aberdeen and Inverness collecting both blood and platelets. Approximately 25% of blood is collected in fixed sites, 15% through Mobile Donor Units the rest through community sessions.

SNBTS has clinical services in five regional centres which deliver routine blood banking, reference work, H&I, stem cells, therapeutic apheresis and other specialist services.

SNBTS is the preferred provider of Tissues for Scotland and provides bone, tendons, heart valves and skin, along with some stem cell services and islet cell processing.

Welsh Blood Service (WBS)

The Welsh Blood Service is responsible for collecting, testing and distributing voluntary blood, platelet donations to 20 hospitals across Wales.

Each year, the Welsh Blood Service aims to collect around 110,000 donations through its flagship donation centre in Talbot Green (South Wales), and mobile collection teams travelling throughout the country.

All processing and testing activity takes place at Talbot Green, before being distributed to hospitals in south and mid Wales. A stock holding unit, based in Wrexham (North Wales), is used for distribution for 3 hospitals in the north of the country.

The Welsh Blood Service is also at the heart of cutting-edge research, development and innovation, covering a broad range of healthcare topics, working with academia and commercial organisations nationally and internationally to advance service delivery, transfusion and transplantation science.

Welsh Blood Service staff also provide system leadership across NHS Wales with expert support to our 20 customer hospitals via our Patient Blood Health Management Team to ensure prudent use, best practice and educational pathways are applied.

The Welsh Blood Service also runs an Immuno-haematology Reference Centre, and Tissue Typing Diagnostic Laboratories. The UK National External Quality Assessment Service (NEQAS) for Histocompatibility & Immunogenetics and the Welsh Assessment of Serological Proficiency Scheme (WASPS) also operate within the service.

In addition, the Welsh Bone Marrow Donor Registry operates within the Welsh Blood Service and supports the collection, importation and exportation of stem cells to support transplant services across the world.

Northern Ireland BTS (NIBTS)

The Northern Ireland Blood Transfusion Service (NIBTS) is a Special Agency responsible for collection, processing, testing and issue of blood components to Northern Ireland hospitals. The population served is 1.877 million. 42,000 red cell components are issued over 8,000 platelet therapeutic doses and over 4,000 fresh frozen plasma components are issued annually. NIBTS is the only blood establishment in Northern Ireland and also provides a regional antenatal testing service and specialised blood group reference service for complex red cell antibody investigations and platelet antibody screening for Northern Ireland hospitals.

Other members

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  • 1.7 million donations
  • 65 million population