§ Dr. Fox
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, pursuant to his answer of 25 March 2002,Official Report, column 771W, what assessment the Department has made of the reasons underlying the forecast fall in levels of blood donation by 17-year-olds. 
§ Ms Blears
The table has been updated since the answer of 25 March 2002 to show the final figures for 2001–02.
From 1998 when 17-year-olds were permitted to donate blood the numbers doing so increased for two consecutive years. However, the reduced donations in 2001–02 corresponded with a fall that year, albeit at a slower rate, in the number of 17-year-olds in the general population.1092W
The numbers of 17-year-olds are projected to increase substantially in the next few years. The National Blood Service believes, therefore, that the decline in 2001–02 is likely to be a blip in an otherwise rising trend, rather than a significant downturn.
Financial year 17-year-old donor count 1998–99 13,777 1999–2000 19,133 2000–01 19,718 2001–02 17,493