The NHS has three-and-a-half days of blood reserves left.
An urgent plea for blood donors to come forward has been issued by the health secretary.
Health and Social Care Secretary Steve Barclay made the appeal after blood reserves dropped to almost half their target levels.
Mr Barclay explained that the NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) service has three-and-a-half days of blood reserves left, where they usually aim to maintain a six-day supply.
He explained that while there are “plenty of supplies”, those who are able to donate should come forward.
If supplies drop to two days, the NHS will trigger an “amber alert”, which could lead to hospitals having to cancel planned procedures.
Lower than we would like.
A low-stock amber pre-alert was sent to NHS trusts earlier this week. It read, “NHSBT has been doing to move staff to the frontline and bring more donors in, we have stabilised the blood supply at the pre-Amber state.
“We are confident that we can maintain supply, whilst remaining in the pre-Amber state for red cells and group A platelets, for this week.
“However, we remain concerned about sufficiency of supply over coming weeks, and we ask you to continue to work with us to manage supply and demand.”
Mr Barclay explained, “Stocks of blood supplies are lower than we would like. We still have plenty of supply, but summer is a traditionally a time when donations are lower than they would be at other points of the year.”
He went on to blame Covid and staff absences for the drop in reserves.
Want to help? You can book an appointment via NHSBT’s Blood Donor Appeal.