Health chiefs urge West Norfolk residents to give the gift of blood this Christmas

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NHS Blood and Transplant are calling on blood donors to give a very special gift this festive period, and potentially save a life.

This Christmas more than 200,000 blood donors are needed to help hundreds of thousands of patients, after one in five blood donor appointments were missed last year, putting this critical operation under unnecessary pressure.

Selina Charles, senior marketing coordinator at NHS Blood and Transplant, said: “Blood stock levels can drop dramatically over the busy festive period as Christmas shopping, celebrations and extended public holidays mean giving blood slips off the nation’s to-do lists.

“At this time of year many people want to give something more than material gifts. A blood donation truly is the gift only you can give and with one single donation you can save or improve up to three lives.”

She added: “Don’t worry if you’ve never given blood before -now is a great time to sign up and start giving.”

Around 210,000 whole blood donations will be needed over the coming six weeks in order to supply hospitals across England and North Wales treating patients with cancer and anaemias, after accidents or childbirth complications, and during surgery.

Over the festive period 12,500 platelet donations are needed to help treat patients with cancer, serious blood disorders and those who have undergone transplants.

To book an appointment so that you can donate and give the gift only you can give, visit or call 0300 1232323 to find your nearest session in West Norfolk.