National Blood Service tries to ease pressure

THE National Blood Service is launching a new range of donor cards to muster more regular donations from the public.

Until now it has awarded donors a blue cardboard book containing blood type details and space to stick receipts from visits. The new credit card-style cards show holder information on the front and use a magnetic strip to record donations electronically.

Eight different coloured cards, with a silver tea cup hologram, can be earned as more donations are made. Four donations merit a red card, 25 is silver and more than 100 a violet card. An NBS spokesman says donors can continue to use the old-style cards if they prefer.

National Blood Service director of donor communications, Liz Reynolds, says: “We have been thinking about developing these cards for a long time because they will speed up the log jams we get when people register. We have always given bronze, silver and gold awards, but it has taken a long time to get them. We are also giving away a key ring to people when they come back a second time.”

Cards are being sent to existing donors with an explanation of the new design as the scheme is introduced over the coming weeks. NBS has also developed a yellow card for frequent donations of specific blood components.

The cards have been developed using recent Government funding in a bid to reduce hospital waiting lists. Card design and mailing has been developed by direct marketing agency STH.

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