NHS Blood and Transplant - centre tours

Lab tech

14 / 12 / 2012

NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) run blood centre tours for sixth form students upon request from schools, on average delivering four tours a year. Each session last for approximately three hours and begins with a presentation on the various healthcare science professions that work within the organisation. This is followed by a tour of the centre where students visit the manufacturing and testing laboratories and see how blood is stored and distributed.

The sessions were originally introduced with the aim of encouraging young people to become future blood donors but they now form part of an organisational core objective to 'Safeguard the future healthcare science workforce through full participation'.

A nominated trainer who has a minimum of a postgraduate certificate in clinical education will facilitate the tour. Prior to the centre visits, a health and safety form is sent to the school and during the sessions students are accompanied by a teacher at all times.

NHSBT have also developed a 'schools pack' designed for applied science A level students. The pack provides information on the role of NHSBT, their systems for tracking, processing and labelling donations, along with information around governance, the cost of services and the impact the NHSBT has on the local community.

The organisation

NHSBT is a special health authority that manages the national voluntary donation system for blood, tissues, organs and stem cells turning these precious donations into products that can be used safely to the benefit of the patient.

NHSBT supplies around two million units of blood a year to hospitals in England and North Wales and last year received 3,500 organ and 4,000 tissue donations and banked 2,200 cord blood units from across the UK. To ensure hospitals have a constant supply of blood the NHSBT collects, tests and processes around 8,000 blood donations each day.


Shirley Nesbit, Professional Training and Development Manager shirley.nesbit@nhsbt.nhs.uk

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