I read with interest your News Focus, 'In similar vein' (page 16, 18 June), and would like to clarify the strategy proposals put forward for the Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service.
The proposals centre on improving blood safety, increasing the quality and range of blood components and assisting the future development of patient services across the country.
There are no plans to reduce the number of blood transfusion centres in Scotland - all five would continue to serve the main centres of population in Dundee, Aberdeen, Inverness, Edinburgh and Glasgow. The proposals include plans to build a much needed centre in Glasgow. This would work in partnership with the West Glasgow Hospitals University trust and allow SNBTS to provide the full range of clinical services to patients in the west of Scotland for the first time.
All centres would continue to be headed by medical directors who are blood transfusion experts. They would be freed from some administrative work to allow them to work more closely with local hospitals to develop clinical services, promote the effective use of blood and provide transfusion advice and support.
We are determined to adapt, improve and invest in our services to blood donors by responding to their changing lifestyles. Otherwise the decline in blood stocks since the early 1990s will continue. This could jeopardise the security of our supply.
Proposals have been researched in detail over a number of years by staff from all disciplines. Myself, clinicians and other professionals are actively consulting on all aspects of the proposed strategy.
The consultation document has already been sent to a wide audience and this is being followed up by personal visits, presentations and additional briefing sessions. This is a genuinely open consultative process.
We are keen to listen and respond to any concerns or comments raised by stakeholders.
Angus Macmillan Douglas
Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service