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18 January 2021

United we stand

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Volunteers from St John Scotland will be helping out at most blood donation sessions across Scotland from today.

In fact, the St John Scotland volunteers, in their distinctive black and white uniforms, will now be the first people you’ll meet when you come to give blood, as they’re taking over the Covid-19 triage process. This means they’ll be the ones to greet you, ask about any recent Covid-19 symptoms, and work out whether Covid-19 has affected your ability to donate that day – meaning our donor carers can go back to working directly with donors.

Edinburgh based Harry McCorkell is one of a number of St John Scotland volunteers who will help out on sessions.

St John Scotland was formed in 1947, and for more than 70 years has helped improve the lives of people in need through charitable work. Their teams of members, volunteers and supporters run projects which help save and enhance lives across the country every day. Like St John Ambulance, St John Scotland is part of the wider St John family, although they don’t provide first aid or ambulance services.

Lynne Willdigg, SNBTS Associate Director Donor and Transport Services, said:

'We’re really looking forward to welcoming our friends from St John Scotland to our sessions.

These are difficult times for everyone – staff, donors, and the country as a whole. The St John Scotland volunteers help will be invaluable, relieving pressure on our staff, and making sure the blood donation process continues to be the smooth and easy process donors are used to. Lynne Willdigg, SNBTS Associate Director Donor and Transport Services

'These are difficult times for everyone – staff, donors, and the country as a whole. The St John Scotland volunteers help will be invaluable, relieving pressure on our staff, and making sure the blood donation process continues to be the smooth and easy process donors are used to.

'One of the St John Scotland volunteers new responsibilities will be taking donor’s temperatures at triage. This will be done using non-touch thermometers which use light to find out a person’s temperature. If the light shines green, the donor’s temperature is normal. If the light flashes red, the donor may be running a temperature, and will be unable to give blood that day. This is one of a range of new processes we have brought in throughout the pandemic to ensure we keep blood donors and staff as safe as possible, while they in turn do their best to help others.'

Angus Loudon, CEO of St John Scotland said: 

'We understand how important it is that the NHS has a continuous supply of donated blood, and the challenges of running donation sessions during the Covid restrictions. We're delighted that St John Scotland volunteers will be able to support this effort, and relieve some of the pressure NHS staff face in delivering the service during these challenging times.

St John Scotland volunteers will be supporting SNBTS staff at various sessions.
Working alongside SNBTS is another great opportunity for St John Scotland volunteers to give back to their local communities and support the NHS at this very challenging time. Angus Loudon, CEO of St John Scotland.

'Like many other charities, our work has been impacted by the pandemic, but we're proud that our volunteers have continued supporting their communities through our Patient Transport services and work to install Public Access Defibrillators. Working alongside SNBTS is another great opportunity for St John Scotland volunteers to give back to their local communities and support the NHS at this very challenging time.'

St John Scotland volunteers are currently planning to help out on session until March 2021. 

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