Continuous blood

Blood

‘We are sorry’ said the text ‘but your session is running late.’ Great I thought as I was already parked up and walking into Morpeth Rugby Club to give blood. ‘Please allow 30 minutes extra for your donation today. Could you please still arrive at your appointment time’ the text continued helpfully.

This was the 38th time I had given and so I should be used to the odd hiccup. More recently however, there always seems to be something new to take on board and I wondered if the delay had anything to do with the latest innovation, which often take time to bed in.

Giving blood has not only been a civic duty for me but a fascinating journey into an organisation that is working hard to transform its processes and make the taking of blood as efficient as possible. I’ve blogged about this several times and every few visits or so there is more material to work with.

The use of texts is a growing part of the NHS Blood and Transplant team’s armoury. Indeed, earlier on that day I had received one saying ‘Please don’t forget to give blood today. Blood stocks are falling so every donation counts.’ As it happened, I had nearly forgotten the appointment and so the reminder was useful.

What was new this time? Previously there had been a series of waits to get through, register that you have arrived and wait, get your medical details checked and wait until you get called to give blood. This time I registered and waited, for a bit longer than I was expecting, before getting my details checked. I was then taken straight to give blood.  The nurse told me that they were calling this continuous care yet I another two nurses were involved in my donation. The drinks afterwards were self-serve which was yet another change.

I imagine a team of people trying to chip away at the inefficiencies of the process. Some improve the flow of donations whilst others falter yet I am fascinated by the change process. I’ve booked my next session and wonder what schemes they will have devised by then.

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