§ Dr. Owen
Provided that sufficient donors remain willing to give blood, the National Blood Transfusion Service can generally satisfy the demands made on it. These fluctuate, and local shortages of blood, or of blood of a particular blood group, do occur, but the position is continuously under review by those responsible and corrective action is taken as necessary.
Blood is not imported into this country other than in the exceptional situation when a patient with a very rare blood group requires a transfusion for which compatible blood can be obtained only from a donor in another country, through the International Panel of Rare Blood Types.
§ Dr. Owen
Local difficulties have occurred, some of which might have been avoided given additional facilities. The allocation of resources to finance such additions is a matter for regional health authorities to determine in the light of their overall spending priorities. My Department receives very few complaints indeed about any respect of the National Blood Transfusion Service. I replied on 17th March and 6th April to a complaint about a backlog of potential doners forwarded to me by the hon. Member.