NHS Blood and Transplant has pledged to freeze the price of blood for the next three years.

The special health authority is awaiting a government review over potentially outsourcing parts of it to the private sector. In its strategic plan for 2011-14 the authority stresses its success in reducing its cost base to 2005-06 levels over the past three years.

During that time it has cut the price of blood by 10 per cent, removed 40 per cent of overcapacity and reduced the number of days during which blood stocks fell below alert levels – from 87 days in 2007-08 to just two days in 2010-11.

The service has pledged to maintain prices at £125 per unit for the three years of the plan period, provided there are no additional cost burdens placed on it through new safety initiatives.

The plan also reveals that the authority is concerned about the impact of plans to merge back office functions across arm’s length bodies.

NHS Blood and Transplant is in the process of examining “alternative legal forms” for its future.

It sets out proposals to develop the existing tissue services into an NHS branded “non-profit” organisation within its current structure but operating with a much more commercial approach.

The plan also says the organisation is “extremely well placed” to benefit from changes in the pathology landscape, which have led to trusts increasingly looking to share services or bring in a private provider