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to think that the NHS have got their 'give blood' campaign wrong?

(23 Posts)
JaneFonda Wed 16-Jan-13 00:52:12

I give blood as often as I can.

However, I am just so sick of constantly being bombarded with letters, emails, leaflets etc. about giving blood - sometimes just two weeks after my last donation, when it's not physically possible to donate.

When I see an advert for giving blood on tv, or online, whilst I am pleased that they are spreading the message, there is a major flaw.

There are just not enough facilities available for those who already do want to give blood. I have tried to book an appointment months in advance, only to be told that there are no available spaces. I have arrived on the day, to be turned away.

I absolutely think that as many people should give blood as possible, and I know that NHS resources are limited, but surely with all the money they put into campaigning for more donors, they could also extend sessions or have more dates to donate.

AIBU to think that perhaps they should focus on making sure there are adequate resources for the donors they already have?

Acky123 Wed 16-Jan-13 00:56:14

The "blood bus" comes to our work.

Not sure if you have to take time off to go and give blood or if you can do it as part of your working day - but I think it's a good idea. Keep meaning to do it but blood tests make me faint, so probably not a good idea for me. Don't even know what blood group I am.

If the appointments aren't physically available when you want to book one or just turn up - then YANBU.

JaneFonda Wed 16-Jan-13 00:59:35

Sorry, I think that turned into more of a rant than I intended.

It just frustrates me when I do make a lot of effort to try to give blood, and I'm turned away, then days later I'm sent something in the post persuading me to donate.

I will happily wait around for hours if they need me to, because I think it's incredibly worthwhile, so I don't think I'm being picky at all.

Birdsgottafly Wed 16-Jan-13 01:02:05

It probably varies region to region, there are losts of opportunities to drop in to donate close to where i live and work.

Purplefurrydice Wed 16-Jan-13 06:50:54

In the city where I live i have never lived somewhere so difficult to give blood. They are always understaffed at all the walk in sessions so won't accept any walk ins! When you ring them up to try and book an appointment it's always a case of my local session is full and multiple sessions accross the city have no appointment!

I can imagine that many potential first time doners would be put off this situation.

HorraceTheOtter Wed 16-Jan-13 07:12:59

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Chelvis Wed 16-Jan-13 07:27:46

I agree about the letter bombardment - I must get one every 2 weeks, despite the fact that you can't give that often! Around here, if you can't go during the working day when there are lots of slots, it is very hard to get one of the evening or sat morning slots

lottiegarbanzo Wed 16-Jan-13 07:45:49

I have wondered about the cost benefit balance of all their letters too. Postage is expensive. I'd be really interested to see theirs figures on that.

i wrote to them when I was pregnant, asking them not to write for 18 months, to save their own funds. The letters, texts and emails continued. I wrote again. That time there was a response and they paused. It felt as though it was easier for them to continue the bombardment than act to pause it. I wonder how it could be cheaper? How much staff time did hat pause really take?

lottiegarbanzo Wed 16-Jan-13 07:48:56

Incidentally blood uk is a separate organisation, even if funded through the nhs. It has it's own chief exec and management.

CloudsAndTrees Wed 16-Jan-13 07:53:58


In my area there I do have a couple of choices of places where I could go to donate, but they both have the same problem. You can't book an appointment until 12.00pm, and I work in the afternoons. They offer appointments up until 7.00 in the evening, which is fine if I'm organised enough to have sorted someone else out to have my dc after school, but the day they come to the closest place for me just happens to be on a day when they have activities, so the last few times have been really difficult. Its even more annoying (but understandable) when you have made arrangements then you get turned away because you had a sniffle last week, which has happened to me. All I want is to be able to go in the morning!

They come every three months, on the same day. If they increased their hours and have a variety of days, I would be able to give blood much more regularly than I can manage at the moment.

DontmindifIdo Wed 16-Jan-13 08:05:00

YANBU - DH gives blood, except he hasn't for over a year, because the centres in the city are all full, the square mile it seems are full of socially concious bankers (who knew?) and demand to give blood massively outstrips available places. These are busy people who want to give blood in lunch breaks/gaps in their diaries, it's pointless telling them there's facilities an hour away.

Yet DH gets a letter almost every other week from him saying how low the stocks are. It seems the effort is on convincing people they should give blood, not actually enabling them to do it once 'sold' on the idea.

MrsMiniversCharlady Wed 16-Jan-13 08:12:05

YANBU. I don't understand why they don't have a drop-in blood donation centre in big hospitals which are full of patients, visitors and staff many of whom will be keen to 'give something back' to the hospital. Some clinics run very late and at least giving blood would relieve the tedium wink

themindwonders Wed 16-Jan-13 08:13:59

we must have good ones where i'm from, i changed my dh appointment last minute to a different week (different venue as well) and i havent had any letters for me personally after phoning up and cancelling my appointment because i am pregnant
dh does get more letters than maybe needed

AgentProvocateur Wed 16-Jan-13 08:15:04

I agree. I'm O rh neg, so I get begging letters from them, but when I turn up after work, at 6pm, to a local session that's running till 7pm, they turn me away because they won't have time to take it.

HoobleDooble Wed 16-Jan-13 08:16:52

We've never had any problems getting a local doner appointment (ex doner here, had to be put out to grass after 25 donations due to build up of scar tissue), my husband now gives platelets once a month, but there's no local facility to do this, he has to do a nearly 40 mile round trip. Wish I could still give but it's enough of a hassle when I have to get a bit out for a blood test!

RibenaFiend Wed 16-Jan-13 08:20:52

I'm in a similar position. Most of my "local" donation sessions (I am happy to travel) are during the working day, mon to fri and there's no chance, I work ft and my director would laugh at me if I asked for some time to donate. So the scant weekend or evening appts are full, they won't accept walk ins because they're understaffed and I'm bombarded with more begging letters and emails when they aren't available to accept my donation. It beggars belief.hmm

If they were really serious about needing donations then how about addressing their current registered donors and asking them why they're not coming?... Also don't get me started on their homophobic "no gay men" outdated in the 80's policy.

NorthernLurker Wed 16-Jan-13 08:21:54

They ring me at work ecause I gave that as a contact number. Last time they did it in the midst of a crisis and I just said 'I am too busy to talk to you!' They probably thought I was a total bitch hmm
I gave this week for the second time having had difficulties making it to a session - only available after work and have to look fter the dcs then. Managed to get an appointment for when I knew dh was NOT away with work this week. I am a bit worried about how long I'll be able to give as the only vein they can find is in one arm at the side. I'm not sure how good it is.

fluffyraggies Wed 16-Jan-13 08:22:02

I am shock to learn that it's tricky to get an appt. to give blood.

I always get the impression they are 'crying out' for blood doners and imagined they would be literally waiting at the door for you.

JaneFonda Wed 16-Jan-13 09:10:55

fluffy, that's what I would have thought too!

I have tried to get the letters stopped, because I too worry about the cost of sending me them unnecessarily.

I don't know if this is just at my local donation centre, or if it's anywhere else, but I have always found the nurses on reception to be quite rude. The people who actually take the blood and who interview you beforehand are fantastic, but at reception they act like you're wasting their time, eg. if you say you're happy to wait for an available slot.

I don't do it for the thanks (mainly for the free biscuits afterwards grin), and I don't expect anyone to pander to me, but the rest of the staff are very cheery and positive and it makes me wonder why it's not the same when you register!

EuroShagmore Wed 16-Jan-13 10:30:04

Good thread. I'm a former donor (can't maintain my iron stores at the moment) and I always found the whole process very inefficient. The donation itself doesn't take long, but there is a fair bit of waiting around. I never had a lot of trouble finding an appointment (in the City, despite all those alturistic bankers), but did get a lot of irritating reminders (includingfor ages after I told them I would have to take a break).

MaxPepsi Wed 16-Jan-13 10:43:00

I'd love to be able to give blood sad

I'm sorry to hear it's still a shambles to try and donate!

Andro Wed 16-Jan-13 10:59:58

I think I must live in one of the (few?) areas with a really well organised set up, I've never had a problem - same goes for DH.

StuntGirl Wed 16-Jan-13 11:43:42

Ours is a mess too. I haven't been able to get an appointment for months. I'm willing to travel to another area to donate too, but every time I ring up they tell me everywhere is full an its impossible to get an appointment. I agree its very inefficient.

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