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17 February 2020

Modernising blood donation


This year will see some exciting changes to blood collection within the Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service. You'll soon start noticing a few differences.


The big news is we’ll be rolling out online appointments at community sessions across the country. You will be able to book an appointment at a time that suits you using your online donor account or by telephone.

You can already use your online donor account to book an appointment to give blood at our city donor centres in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Dundee, and Inverness.

Available to both regular blood donors and those giving blood for the first time, the online donor account makes it easy for you to:

  • book, view and cancel appointments
  • change your contact details
  • check your donation history

Giving blood by appointment helps us help patients better. It means we can rely on your blood group on that specific date, making it easier to regulate blood stocks. This way we know there will always be enough to meet patients needs.


We will introduce disposable wristbands which will be issued to you each time you come along to give blood – a bit like when you go all-inclusive on holiday.

The wristband will have your unique identifiable barcode on it, which will be scanned when identity confirmation is required, reducing the number of times we ask you to repeat your name, address and date of birth.


Having recently reviewed the refreshments we offer at session we decided we needed to make some changes. We look forward to offering you some new snacks with recyclable packaging and made from ethically sourced ingredients alongside your old favourites as well as increasing the choice for donors who have specific dietary requirements.

In order to significantly improve our sustainability and reduce our environmental impact, in future our cups will be made from recyclable material. We will continue to offer cold drinks such as orange, blackcurrant and water, however hot drinks will no longer be available. This will allow us to completely remove:

  • polystyrene cups
  • single use plastic milk pots
  • single use plastic spoons

We hope you will welcome this change and help us to play our part in becoming a more environmentally friendly service.

The future

Before the end of the year you might also notice some other small on-session process improvements, such as your donation being sealed beside the bed. However, none of these changes will affect your personal donation experience or ask anything more from you as a donor.

All these new features of your donating session are the start of a programme of modernisation which will eventually see us become paper free and more environmentally ethical.

We thank you for your patience and support during these advances in our blood collection programme. We will keep you updated as we progress.



Current blood stock levels across Scotland Friday 17 September

We aim to retain 6 days of stocks at any time in order to meet the requirements of patients in Scotland.

Learn more about blood types