NHS chiefs are pleading for more people to bolster a dwindling army of blood donors in Northamptonshire.
Ahead of World Blood Donor Day on Tuesday (June 14) new figures revealed fewer than 10,000 donors in the county — the lowest number since 2016 when data was first made available.
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The organisation says demand for blood dropped during the Covid-19 pandemic as hospitals suspended routine care. But more donors are now urgently needed due to a drop in recruitment and hospital activity picking up again.
It has set a target of nearly 175,000 new donors nationally, including 12,124 across the East Midlands, to make up for the shortfall.
Spokesman Alex Cullen said: “The NHS needs more donors over the next five years of all blood types but especially more Black African and Black Caribbean donors to help patients with sickle cell.
■ You can register to give blood and book appointments at local venues by calling 0300 123 23 23, downloading the GiveBloodNHS app, or visiting blood.co.uk.
“A mass public campaign is being held this National Blood Week to identify people with most-needed blood types.
"This year we’re encouraging more people to donate and find out their blood type – it’s quick and easy."
In West Northamptonshire, 685 new donors gave blood for the first time in the year to March — up from from 450 the year before but lower than 1,022 in the year to March 2020.
New registrations in the area were also below pre-pandemic levels, 2,272 in 2021-22 compared to 3,066 in 2019-20.
In North Northamptonshire, there were 439 new donors – a rise from 351 the year before but lower than 808 in the year to March 2020.
New registrations were also below pre-Covid levels, 1,780 in 2021-22 compared to 2,475 in 2019-20.
■ In NORTHAMPTON: 2,502 people gave blood in the year to March – 313 were new donors, lower than 459 in the year to March 2020.
■ SOUTH NORTHAMPTONSHIRE: 1,860 people gave blood in in the year to March – 178 were new donors, but lower than 286 in the year to March 2020.
■ DAVENTRY: 1,503 people gave blood in the year to March – 194 were new donors, lower than 277 in the year to March 2020.
■ EAST NORTHANTS: 1,352 people gave blood in the year to March – 122 were new donors, lower than 229 in the year to March 2020.
■ KETTERING: 1,344 people gave blood in the year to March – 141 were new donors, lower than 317 in the year to March 2020.
■ WELLINGBOROUGH: 1,010 people gave blood in the year to March – down from 1,041 the year before.
■ CORBY: 648 people gave blood in the year to March – lower than 489 in the year to March 2020.