St John Scotland has teamed up with the Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service to support blood donation sessions across the country from today [18 January].
The project will see St John Scotland volunteers greet donors when they arrive at donation centres. Our volunteers will be the first people donors see when they arrive, will ask them about recent Covid-19 symptoms, and take their temperature using a non-touch thermometer.
Providing this support frees up the NHS staff to deliver the sessions and collect blood, while also helping donors feel safe and supported when attending sessions.
The NHS aims to retain six days' of blood stocks at any time in order to meet the requirements of patients in Scotland.
Regular donation sessions have been running throughout the Covid pandemic, at both dedicated donation centres and community venues across the country.
Lynne Willdigg, SNBTS Associate Director, Donor and Transport Services, said: “We’re really looking forward to welcoming our friends from St John Scotland to our sessions.
“These are difficult times for everyone – staff, donors, and the country as a whole. The St John Scotland volunteers' help will be invaluable, relieving pressure on our staff, and making sure the blood donation process continues to be the smooth and easy process donors are used to.
“One of the St John Scotland volunteers new responsibilities will be taking donor’s temperatures at triage. This is one of a range of new processes we have brought in throughout the pandemic to ensure we keep blood donors and staff as safe as possible, while they in turn do their best to help others.”
Angus Loudon, CEO of St John Scotland said: "We understand how important it is that the NHS has a continuous supply of donated blood, and the challenges of running donation sessions during the Covid restrictions.
"We're delighted that St John Scotland volunteers will be able to support this effort, and relieve some of the pressure NHS staff face in delivering the service during these challenging times.
"Like many other charities, our work has been impacted by the pandemic, but we're proud that our volunteers have continued supporting their communities through our Patient Transport services and work to install Public Access Defibrillators.
"Working alongside SNBTS is another great opportunity for St John Scotland volunteers to give back to their local communities and support the NHS at this very challenging time."
It is hoped St John Scotland volunteers will support the donation sessions initially until the end of March, while Covid restrictions are in place.