§ Mr. Spearing
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what consultations were undertaken by the relevant bodies388W within the national health service concerning the plans to close the blood transfusion centre at Brentwood; and what assessment has been made of the impact of the closure on the total volume of blood available from donors in east London and the speed of its supply to hospitals there and in south Essex.
§ Mr. Sackville
The proposal to close the Brentwood transfusion centre is part of the proposals for reorganisation of the National Blood Transfusion Service currently out for consultation. The results of the consultation will be carefully considered before decisions are made.
The proposals are mainly about processing and administration. The amount of blood collected in east London and Essex should not be affected. The National Blood Transfusion Service's mobile teams will continue to go to all areas as they do now, wherever centres are amalgamated or not. New locally based teams would be set up and sessions would be easily accessible to donors.
The National Blood Authority is committed to maintaining and wherever possible improving the service it provides to hospitals. One of its key proposals is to establish a network of stockholding units. The National Blood Authority is satisfied that the proposed structure will enable it to continue to respond to emergency demand for blood without detriment to patient care.