‘Historic’ New Rules for Blood Donation Come Into Force

‘Historic’ New Rules for Blood Donation Come Into Force Credit: Pixabay

‘Historic’ New Rules for Blood Donation Come Into Force.

New eligibility rules which have been called ‘historic’ are coming into force for blood donations.

The new NHS rules mean that more gay and bisexual men will be able to donate blood, plasma and platelets. The rules are set to come into force this week and have been called a ‘historic change’ for the health service.

The new rules will see any individual who wants to give blood regardless of their gender asked a few questions regarding their recent sexual behaviour. If a person has had the same sexual partner for the last three months they will be eligible to donate.

This change means that an increasing number of gay and bisexual men will be able to donate blood, platelets and plasma.

The chief nurse for blood donation at NHS Blood and Transplant, Ella Poppitt, has commented that: ‘Patient safety is at the heart of everything we do.

‘This change is about switching around how we assess the risk of exposure to a sexual infection, so it is more tailored to the individual.

‘We screen all donations for evidence of significant infections, which goes hand-in-hand with donor selection to maintain the safety of blood sent to hospitals.

She went on to add that: ‘All donors will now be asked about sexual behaviours which might have increased their risk of infection, particularly recently acquired infections. This means some donors might not be eligible on the day but may be in the future.’

The changes were welcomed by Stonewall who consider them to be ‘historic’. Stonewall’s director of communications and external affairs, Robbie de Santos, explained that: ‘We welcome today’s historic change, which will help ensure more gay and bi men can donate blood and represents an important step towards a donation selection policy entirely based on an individualised assessment of risk.

He also added that: ‘We want to see a blood donation system that allows the greatest number of people to donate safely and we will continue to work with Government to build on this progress and ensure that more people, including LGBT+ people, can donate blood safely in the future.’

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Written by

Alex Glenn

Originally from the UK, Alex is based in Almeria and is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]