As a push begins for more people to register ahead of World Blood Donor Day on June 14, NHS’s Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) figures show 1,786 people gave blood in South Tyneside in the year to March – an increase on 1,772 the year before, but lower than the year to March 2020, when 2,061 people donated.
Figures also show 224 donors gave blood for the first time – up from 188 the year before, but lower than the year to March 2020, when 347 people donated for the first time.
Nationally, in the year to March, 789,840 people donated. This is down on the 878,612 did in the year to March 2016.
The NHSBT is calling for more donors to come forward.
Demand for blood dropped during the pandemic as hospitals suspended routine operations but more is now needed as hospitals bid to clear a treatment backlog.
The NHS is particularly short of blood types O negative and B negative.
Head of blood donation marketing for NHS Blood and Transplant, Alex Cullen, said: “The NHS needs more donors over the next five years of all blood types.
“A campaign is being held this National Blood Week and throughout June to identify people with most needed blood types. This year we’re encouraging more people to donate and find out their blood type.”
To register to give blood and book an appointment, call 0300 123 23 23, downloading the GiveBloodNHS app, or go to blood.co.uk.