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Pilot scheme to monitor levels of blood stock

Tuesday 19th March 2013
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A new pilot scheme aimed at transforming the way in which blood stocks are kept and delivered has now been launched at the Royal Bournemouth Hospital.

The scheme will allow NHS Blood and Transplant to monitor hospital stock levels on a 'live' basis, as well as providing optimum top up deliveries of blood products automatically.

This will be achieved by the system's ability to send automatic delivery notes including the details of all the stocks being supplied to the hospital.

It is hoped that such a system will lower costs, improve stock control, and provide a more streamlined process from donor to patient.

Tony Spotswood, chief executive of the Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: "This project is a natural extension of our existing successful system which uses bar-coded patient wristbands, hand-held devices and the labelling of patient blood samples.

"The scheme is cost-efficient but most importantly will improve patient care, which is a key priority for us."

Lynda Hamlyn, chief executive at NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT), who visited the Bournemouth hospital last week, said that the pilot scheme demonstrated the ability of two different NHS organisations to work with the same level of determination in order to improve quality and care, while still managing to keep the costs low.

The scheme is the first part of NHSBT's five-year plan to update and modernise the blood service for donors, patients, and the NHS itself.

Describing the the long-term plans for the future of the NHSBT, Ms Hamlyn said that it was dedicated to improving the standard of care for patients. 

She added: "It builds on our achievements over the past few years in driving up quality and driving down costs and in establishing the infrastructure necessary to deliver more organs for transplantation across the UK."

And it has already managed to significantly cut its running costs since 2009; saving the health service around £34 million a year, money that can be used elsewhere to provide better care and treatment for patients.

Written by Angela Newbury

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