HL Deb 05 May 1999 vol 600 cc94-5WA
Lord Graham of Edmonton

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What progress has been made towards the modernisation of the National Blood Service. [HL2265]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Baroness Hayman)

The National Blood Service is a vital part of the National Health Service and, as such, is expected to provide high quality, cost efficient services. Over the past year, following the report we commissioned from Professor Cash on the Liverpool Blood Centre, the NBS has been working to improve the quality of the services it provides to blood donors, clinicians and patients. But to achieve lasting improvement it also needs to modernise the management of the service, both nationally and locally, and to develop a clear strategic direction within which all parts of the service can operate. We have therefore approved proposals submitted by the National Blood Authority to effect these changes and to ensure a first-class future for the National Blood Service.

The existing three-zone structure into which the National Blood Service is currently organised will be replaced by a single integrated structure. This will improve the performance of the service by creating a greater sense of strategic direction, shared ownership of priorities with the wider NHS and clearer accountabilities. In addition, local services will be enhanced by the appointment of a blood centre head who will lead local service delivery to hospitals and patients.

Copies of the National Blood Authority's plans have been placed in the Library.

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