17 February 2023

To All Haematologists 

Update on supply of blood and platelets 17/02/2023: 

NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) advised on the 23rd of January that England will remain in the Pre-Amber phase due to the ongoing challenges of industrial action.

In light of the planned strikes in early March a further update letter has been circulated throughout England on the 15th of February with a particular focus on platelets advising the following:

  1. Ensure you have implemented the contingency platelet product barcodes, including the new reduced dose apheresis, neonatal and adult 5-day platelets.
  2. Evaluate your requirement to hold stock platelets. Major trauma centres will be pre-approved but if you feel you have other mitigating factors, please complete this form to submit a request for pre-approval.
  3. Convene an Emergency Blood Management Group (EBMG) as soon as possible to establish process to manage requests for platelets in a Red Alert shortage period.

Determine which requests will:

  • Require local Haematology Consultant approval
  • Be pre-approved by the local Haematology Consultant

If you are based in England and have any questions regarding the NHSBT communication you can contact your local NHSBT Customer Service Manager or Patient Blood Management Practitioner. Alternatively phone our Response Desk on 0208 201 3107, 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday.

Please note this update has not been circulated in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland by the transfusion services as situations differ. Please refer to specific national communications in each country.

Links to previous pertinent BSH communications: 

Link to previous information on a reduced dose platelet component


Link to previous red cell conservation measures.