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Farron calls for blood bank re-think

January 28, 2013 12:29 PM

Tim and the Lib Dems at WGHLocal MP Tim Farron has called on the NHS Blood and Transplant service (NHSBT) to look again at plans to close Lancaster's blood bank.

The proposed closure of Lancaster's blood bank put the 10 staff who currently work there at risk of redundancy. The bank, based at Royal Lancaster Infirmary, stores up to seven days supply of blood and supplies for the MorecambeBay and South Cumbria area.

Tim stressed that blood donor sessions in the region will not be affected by any of these changes.

Currently, the laboratories receive two deliveries a day and we understand at this stage that the proposals might mean the hospital trust would have to retain a small stock holding unit of their own, and that all other requests would be delivered on request, at an additional cost.

The proposals will go to the NHSBT Board in the spring. According to them the unit has been identified as an area which is not operating as efficiently as possible. Tim has also asked about the impact any proposed change may have on FurnessGeneralHospital, which is unaffected by the restructure but could feel the knock on effects.

Tim said: "I am asking NHS Blood and Transport service to look at this again I think if they reconsider their plans they will see this is a vital service and should be kept at Lancaster. I think the unit can be made more efficient but I think just moving straight to closing it is wrong."

Kendal Town Councillor and local health campaigner Matthew Severn added: "These proposals add further weight to local residents fears that our hospitals are being sidelined by the flawed cost cutting from NHS bigwigs. We need a halt to this short sighted approach to local health."