Specialist Sheffield blood unit facing closure threat

NHS Blood and Transplant Service, Longley Lane, Sheffield may be shutting down and being relocated to Manchester putting jobs at risk. Picture: Andrew Roe
NHS Blood and Transplant Service, Longley Lane, Sheffield may be shutting down and being relocated to Manchester putting jobs at risk. Picture: Andrew Roe
5
Have your say

A specialist NHS service in Sheffield that processes blood for use in patient operations is being considered for closure.

Plans are being considered to shut the blood supply chain manufacturing facility on Longley Lane, close to the Northern General Hospital.

It is intended that manufacturing services currently based in Sheffield and Newcastle would be transferred to Manchester.

The Sheffield facility currently employs the equivalent of 45 full-time workers. If the closure proposals do go ahead, the transfer could take place in 2017.

The plans follow a decline in a need for blood by the NHS due to improvements in clinical practices and the amount charged to hospitals for blood being reduced to save the NHS £3m per year.

A spokesman for NHS Blood and Transplant said the plans are in their ‘early stages’, with proposals to be put to the organisation’s board next month.

The spokesman said: “It’s important we respond to changes in the need for blood, make the most of every donation and are flexible in the way we manufacture blood products for patient use. We are in the early stages of considering options for the future, and an option we are considering is the potential future transfer of our manufacturing operations from Newcastle and Sheffield to Manchester.”

One member of staff, who asked not to be named, said they were concerned the move could have an impact on transporting blood to hospitals in South Yorkshire and Lincolnshire, especially during periods of bad weather affecting roads from Manchester.

“My concern is once they move manufacturing out of Sheffield there is no Plan B if it doesn’t work,” the employee said.