Criticism over axing of blood donor sessions
A nursing student from Amble has criticised the decision to cancel blood donor sessions in the town, which she says is a crucial service. Sessions had been held at the Radcliffe Club in recent months, ever since the Dovecote Centre closed, but they have now ended, with donors told the sessions were financially unviable.
Jennie Rutherford is in her third year studying nursing at Dundee University. She told The Ambler: “I feel it’s going to drop the numbers of existing donors and also not encourage any more. Blood donors are few and far between anyway and ending the service is not going to help.”
Radcliffe Club manager Charlene Allan said she was surprised at the cancellation and only found out when blood donors told her their next sessions were to be held at Willowburn Leisure Centre in Alnwick.
“There’s no other within a 10 mile radius, we already cover Warkworth, Hadston, Broomhill, Widdrington,” said Charlene.
Jane Green, Assistant Director Blood Donation Operations – North, told The Ambler: “Hospital blood use is declining by 3-4% a year and this means that sometimes we need to reduce the amount of blood donation sessions that we hold. It’s important that we do not waste precious donations by collecting too much blood.
“We have made the difficult decision to close the session held at Radcliffe Working Mens’ Club in Amble and we thank our donors for their life-saving generosity.
“This was a smaller six-bed session that could only accommodate a limited number of donors. The session was also in a more rural area with a higher travel time for our mobile team. We greatly value the generosity and commitment shown by our Amble donors.
“We appreciate it may be too difficult for many people in Amble to travel to an alternative session and we thank them for the lives they have already saved.”
Student nurse Jennie has been a regular blood donor in Amble since she was 17, and gives blood at University. She was critical of the decision to cancel the service.
“The blood service is always texting, phoning, emailing you, pleading with you to donate, yet they’re getting rid of Amble’s local service and replacing them with venues that are hard to get to.
“I know from my nursing how crucial blood and the blood donors are, and I’m really sad to see sessions and donors being cut.”