Blood centre closure decision is put back

First published in News

A DECISION on whether the blood centre in Brentwood will be closed as part of budget cuts has been pushed back two months.

Board members of NHS Blood and Transplant were due to discuss the proposals to close the storage unit at the centre, in Crescent Drive, along with moving the donor suite to a new site, in March.

However, the directors will now review the plans in May to take more time to look at feedback they have received from various parties linked to the building.

If the proposal goes ahead, blood which is used for hospital patients at sites including Broomfield and Basildon will be transferred to be stored in Colindale, Tooting and Cambridge.

A NHS spokeswoman said: “We have had some very useful feedback from the hospitals served by the Brentwood stock holding unit and we are planning further meetings to talk through the issues in more detail with them.

“We have also met with two local MPs to explain why the proposals are being considered. We have also had meetings with staff.

“To give us time to fully assess the feedback we have received we will not take any proposals to the board before May.”

Eric Pickles, MP for Brentwood and Ongar, who has stated he wants to see the centre stay open, said he was pleased to hear more time was being taken before a final decision is made.

Mr Pickles said: “Further consideration of proposals after consulting with those affected is always welcome.

“I have been a supporter of the Brentwood Blood Centre for many years and have laid down a number of criteria with the NHS Blood and Transplant management which I would wish to be considered before any final decision is taken.”

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