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20 December 2023

Less than a half of donor centre appointments booked this Festive season

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The Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service (SNBTS) are asking the people of Scotland to make an extra special effort to support Scotland’s patients by giving blood on Christmas Eve, Boxing Day, Hogmanay and into the New Year.

SNBTS hopes to welcome 2,231 donors across the country, but so far only 927 people have booked in to donate – less than half of what’s needed.

Debbie McNaughton, Associate Director Donor and Transport Services, says: "We have blood donor centres open throughout the festive period – but there are key dates when very few people are booked in.

"For instance, on Boxing Day, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Inverness Donor Centres are open – but only 56 of the 213 donors needed have made an appointment.

"In Glasgow, only seven people have made appointments for the 26th December.

"Then on the 2nd January, Glasgow, Livingston, Aberdeen and Inverness Donor Centres are open – but only 33 people out of the 218 donors needed are booked in to donate. That’s only 15% of what’s needed.

In Glasgow, only seven people have made appointments for the 26th December. Debbie McNaughton

First Minister Humza Yousaf has booked his appointment to donate blood this festive season.

He said, "I’m pleased to be able to visit Glasgow Blood Donor Centre, and thank the staff members and volunteers working hard to keep our blood stocks at safe levels over an especially important period.

"During the festive season, donations can drop off as people are busy seeing friends and family, and spending time celebrating But the need for blood does not take a rest. NHS Scotland is busy, with cancer care, A&E and maternity wards all still running.

"I’m pleased to be able to play my part in donating blood, and would encourage anyone who is able to consider booking an appointment. By donating blood, you could help to save a life."

Less than half of all donor centre appointments have been booked

Debbie McNaughton continued, "Different donor centres across the country are open different days over the festive period, and there are appointments available for almost all of them.

"We do understand people are busy, and have a lot on at this time. However, we want to remind people about the need for these essential blood components because they will not take a rest over the festive period. Our appointment grids are open, and we are asking everyone to book their festive appointment now. We understand giving blood on Boxing Day, Hogmanay or 2nd January may feel like an unusual thing to do, but it is also a very important thing to do. We will have a festive atmosphere in the Donor Centre, and we’d love to welcome as many people as possible. It’s very important donors come forward throughout December and into the New Year, to ensure Scottish hospitals are well stocked.

"We have a great response from people throughout the country, and we have been busy throughout December, which is great news. However, we would love people to make an extra special effort to come forward as Christmas and the festivities approach."

  • Book your appointment to donate online, or by phoning 0345 90 90 999 (Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm)
  • Find out more about our festive opening hours

Current blood stock levels across Scotland Tuesday 27 February

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