Wiganers are being urged to make - and keep - appointments at blood donor centres before Christmas, as the NHS warns it needs to build up blood stocks ahead of the festive period.
During late November and through December, donations drop and some people simply do not turn up for their appointments, particularly in the week before Christmas, a time when people are busy with celebrations and shopping.
NHS Blood and Transplant needs blood donors to make and keep their appointments to avoid an even more serious pre-Christmas slump. This year it fears that the forecast bad weather could keep even more donors away. The Met Office has predicted below average temperatures leading to a greater risk of frost and snow.
Donors who need to cancel are being asked to give at least three days’ notice so the slot can be given to someone else.
A serious drop in donations could affect the supply of blood to the tens of thousands of people in England who will need transfusions over the festive period as treatment for a blood condition or cancer, or due to surgery, childbirth or an accident.
Lindsay Williams, Manager of Manchester’s Norfolk House Donor Centre, said: “Demand for lifesaving blood doesn’t stop for Christmas.
“We need our loyal donors to donate more than ever at this time of year, to make sure hospitals have the blood that seriously ill children and adults will need over Christmas and New Year.
Each donation can save up to three lives.”
It is quick and easy to make, view and change appointments by calling 0300 123 23 23 or online at www.blood.co.uk.
Blood donor centres in the area:
l DW Stadium, 21 Loire Drive, Robin Park, Wigan - Dec 10, Dec 17.
l Leigh sports Village, Sale Way, Leigh - Nov 21, Dec 12, Dec 31.
lAll Saints Catholic Club, High Street, Golborne - Nov 22.
l Macdonald Kilhey Court Hotel, Chorley Road, Standish - Jan 14.
l St Peter’s Pavilion, Hurst Street, Hindley - Jan 30.
l Brookfield Hall, Peel Street, Westhoughton - Jan 30.
l Haydock Park Racecourse, Warrington Road, Newton-le-Willows - Dec 19
l Haydock Conservative Club, 3 Bellerophon Way, St Helens - Feb 28.
Visit blood.co.uk to find out more details about locations, dates and times.
You can also register as a blood donor and book your first appointment. Anyone needing to cancel is asked to give at least three days notice so the slot can be given to someone else. Permanent centres will have the best availability.