The NHS is urging existing blood donors to keep their appointments during the coronavirus outbreak – and for new donors to sign up and help save lives.

Blood donations are currently 15% lower than expected, with some donors unsure whether they are allowed to travel to sessions, or whether the sessions themselves are still going ahead.

NHS Blood and Transplant says stocks remain at a "good" level currently, but it is keen to ensure a regular amount of donations over the coming months. 

As is normally the case, new and existing donors should be well enough to visit a clinic, but they must stay away if they have symptoms of potential coronavirus – including a high temperature or a new, continuous cough. Due to the Government’s social distancing measures, people aged 70 or over and those who are particularly vulnerable are currently unable to donate.

Donation teams are also taking extra hygiene precautions and observing social distancing measures to alleviate any concerns about the transmission of the virus. 

Councillor Jasbir Jaspal, the City of Wolverhampton Council’s Cabinet Member for Public Health and Wellbeing, said: “NHS Blood and Transplant needs to collect around 5,000 units of blood a day, and each donation can save up to 3 lives.

“So if you are an existing donor and you are well, the message is clear – it is vital that you try to donate blood at this time. And if you have not donated before, there’s not been a more important time to think about doing so.

“Despite the social distancing measures we all need to be following at present, travelling to donation sessions is permitted because hospitals need our blood supply now and in the coming weeks more than ever. However, donors are asked to attend their appointment alone if at all possible.”

To register as a blood donor, please visit Give Blood, call 0300 123 23 23 or download the Give Blood app from the App Store or Google Play. Appointments can be booked online and people can choose where they wish to donate.

The latest information and guidance around coronavirus is available at GOV.UK and on the council’s own coronavirus pages at Coronavirus advice and information. There’s lots of advice on how people can protect themselves and their families from coronavirus from the NHS at Advice for everyone – Coronavirus (COVID-19).