Unions have claimed victory over a campaign to prevent parts of the NHS blood and organ transplant service being privatised.

A commercial review of NHS Blood and Transplant recommended that it should continue working to improve services, ensuring that supplies are used appropriately, efficiently and safely.

When the review was announced earlier this year there were claims that blood distribution and storage could be contracted out.

In a ministerial statement, health minister Anne Milton said: “The review has made a number of recommendations to support the continued improvements in the efficiency and effectiveness of the organisation, which includes working with the NHS and other organisations to make more efficient use of voluntarily donated blood.”

NHSBT is the organ donor organisation for the UK and is responsible for matching and allocating donated organs.

Its remit also includes the supply of blood to the NHS in England and north Wales.

Unison general secretary Dave Prentis said: “The backtrack on plans to privatise parts of the NHSBT is good news for patients.

“It is also a victory for common sense, as it makes no sense to break up and privatise a successful and integrated service such as blood.”