Two-thirds of Londoners who signed up to give blood have not yet donated, new figures show
Two-thirds of people in London who have signed up to give blood have not yet donated, new figures show.
NHS Blood and Transplant is urging some 235,000 potential donors who registered as donors last year to take the next step and make their first donation.
A record 70,000 people registered with Give Blood in Greater London in 2022 after the first ever amber alert on blood stock shortages was issued in October.
But five months later, only one in five of those who signed up has actually given blood.
However, at that time there were limited appointments available for first-time donors because of staffing issues and the need to prioritise existing donors.
There is an urgent need for more donors of Black heritage as they are more likely to have the blood type needed to treat sickle cell patients - the country's fastest growing genetic blood disorder.
NHS Blood and Transplant say it needs at least 40,000 new donors per year for the next five years in London.
People who registered during 2022 may have found it more difficult than in recent years to make their first appointment as the NHS experienced a challenging year with low blood stocks. Existing donors are prioritised at these times as their blood type is known and they are more likely to complete a successful donation, which means appointments for first time donors are reduced.
But blood stocks have since stabilised and there are now more slots available for new donors, NHS NHS Blood and Transplant said.
David Rose, Director of Donor Experience at NHS Blood and Transplant, said: “We always need new people to join our amazing community of lifesaving blood donors and help meet the needs of patients right now and in the future.
“If you are one of the 235,000 people who registered last year but are yet to attend an appointment, or you’re thinking about signing up to donate, please make 2023 the year you save lives.
“More slots are now available for first time donors, particularly in London where we are growing our community venue locations to make donation more accessible to a more diverse group of donors.
“But if you can’t find an immediate appointment, don’t worry. Please book for further in the future as we need lifesavers every day. It doesn’t matter if it’s months or weeks ahead – every donation counts. Giving blood is quick and easy, and you will feel amazing afterwards.”