Tel: 01923 366 7650
Our ref: AH/274781
Re: Information request
Thank you for your request dated 20 November 2014, for information from NHS
Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) regarding the number of needle pricks you made to
the skin which bled and our operations in North Wales.
I am writing to advise you that we are able to provide you with the following
information in response to your request.
Can you tell me the number of needle pricks you made to the skin which bled?
I expect that this will equal the number of finger prick tests carried out plus the
number of actual donations from the arm.
Our systems do not record the number of needle pricks made to the skin which bled.
The data we are able to provide is based on assumptions. For everyone who has
successfully donated, we assume that they had two needle pricks; one to test their
haemoglobin levels and one for the donations. This is for whole blood as well as
platelet donors. The total number of pricks recorded between 1 December 2013 and
1 December 2014 for successful donations is 3,674,696.
For all the donors recorded as low HB, we counted that there was one needle prick to
the skin which bled. The total number of pricks recorded for donors with low Hb
between 1 December 2013 and 1 December 2014 is 57,307.
The grand total of the number of needle pricks to the skin which bled recorded
between 1 December 2013 and 1 December 2014 therefore is 3,732,003.
Please note that there is a degree of uncertainty concerning donors who have been
recorded as having given a sample as they can progress to donate or not donate. For
this reason, this has been left out of the final calculation.
Please tell me the name of the person responsible for the decision that blood
donations in North Wales should be carried out by the English blood service
rather than the Welsh one.
NHS Blood & Transplant is a Special Health Authority for England and North Wales
and we have been given a remit to collect, process and supply blood in England and
North Wales. This is detailed in the NHS Blood & Transplant (Wales) Directions 2005
and amendments since.
The provision of a blood service in North Wales has always been carried out by an
English blood service. More than 20 years ago, this was provided by a blood
collection team from Liverpool who would travel round North Wales, staying overnight
for a week or so at a time. Later, teams managed from Liverpool were recruited and
based in Wrexham and Caernarvon. The poor transport links between North Wales
and Cardiff, where the Welsh Blood Service is based, made it difficult to take
collected blood to Cardiff for processing and deliver blood from Cardiff to North
Wales in a timely manner, this is why the service was provided by an English service.
In June 2012, Lesley Griffiths, the then Welsh Minister for Health & Social Care,
stated that an all-Wales blood service should be created by 2016, with substantial
progress to be made by 2014. We have since this time worked closely with Welsh
Government (including the new Minister, Mark Drakeford) and the Welsh Blood
Service to help them with their planning for this change.
In section 10.7.2 of your Welsh Language plan it says "If a non-Welsh speaker
is appointed to a post where the ability to speak Welsh is considered essential,
NHSBT will ensure that he/she learns the language as a condition of service to
a satisfactory level of fluency within 3 years." Please list any other skills which
you consider essential for certain posts but despite that you are willing to
appoint people to post while they still lack that essential skill, particularly
where you acknowledge that it will take the employee up to as long as three
years to acquire that skill to a satisfactory level. Or is the ability to speak
Welsh unique in this regard?
As a public service operating in Wales, we are required to have a Welsh Language
Scheme. Under this scheme we are required to treat English and Welsh languages
equally. When our Welsh Language Scheme was drafted in 2009, we did not identify
any jobs where the Welsh language was essential. We are obliged to offer the choice
of English or Welsh in both our spoken and written correspondence in our dealings
with the public in Wales. In our blood collection teams, we have Welsh speakers, we
provide bilingual forms and leaflets and we will correspond with people in Wales in
the language they choose.
The information supplied to you continues to be protected by the Copyright, Designs
and Patents Act 1988. You are free to use it for your own purposes, including any
non-commercial research you are doing and for the purposes of news reporting. Any
other re-use, for example commercial publication, would require the permission of the
copyright holder. Some documents supplied by NHS Blood and Transplant will be
Crown Copyright. You can find details on the arrangements for re-using Crown
Copyright on HMS Online at:
Information you receive which is not subject to Crown Copyright continues to be
protected by the copyright of the person, or organisation, from which the information
originated. You must ensure that you gain their permission before reproducing any
third party (non Crown Copyright) information.
I hope this is helpful in addressing your questions. Please quote the reference
number above in any future communications.
Eleanor CaldwellExternal Affairs Manager
If you are unhappy with the service you have received in relation to your request and wish to make a complaint or
request an review of our decision, you should write to: Customer Services Operations Manager, NHS Blood and
Transplant, Oak House, Reeds Crescent, Watford, WD24 4QN (Email: firstname.lastname@example.org).
If you are not content with the outcome of your complaint, you may apply directly to the Information
Commissioner for a decision. Generally, the ICO cannot make a decision unless you have exhausted the
complaints procedure provided by NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT). The Information Commissioner can be
contacted at: The Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9