One million people across England and North Wales are now registered to book donation appointments online, making it one of the largest digital booking systems of any blood service in the world.
NHS Blood and Transplant’s www.blood.co.uk website delivers a modern, secure, easy-to-use online service which makes it easier for blood donors to book appointments to give blood and save lives.
The project to create this service was part of NHS Blood and Transplant’s ongoing strategy to deliver a world class blood service that is responsive and attractive to donors.
During the last 12 months alone the service has seen 725,000 active users making appointments online and since its introduction in November 2013:
- the service has been used to book almost 1.5 million blood donation appointments
- there has been over three million digital transactions with registered donors
- there has been a 3% increase in attendance from donors at session who book via the online service
The move from donors making provisional bookings online that often required a call back or further email correspondence to secure a booking, to a modern, personally managed service is timesaving and easier for donors. People can register as a donor online, arrange, amend or cancel their own appointments and update their personal details. They can also share their experiences of giving blood on Facebook from the site, helping to promote donation among their friends.
Ian Trenholm, Chief Executive of NHS Blood and Transplant, said:
This system is proof that NHS Blood and Transplant is a world leading blood service, using digital technology to deliver better services for our vitally important donors. As well as providing an improved service, it is bringing financial savings too. Since we introduced this service, we have saved £1.2 million thanks to a reduction in transactions through our contact centre and a reduction in print costs with donors viewing their welcome pack online and managing their own records.
Donors are still able to use the contact centre to book appointments, but we hope that the success of the online appointment booking system will encourage more donors to register online and begin using this as a reliable and quick route to booking appointments to give blood.
Our digital ambition doesn’t stop here – we are continuing to invest in technology across our operations, aimed at improving the donor experience even further.
As part of NHS Blood and Transplant’s modern digital service, donors also have the ability to download a Mobile app to allow self-service appointment booking, with 150,000 donors downloading it already and over 45,000 donors using the app in the last month.
Jane Ellison, Public Health Minister said:
This is a great example of how modern technology can be used to help save lives, improve efficiency and make things easier for those who want to give back.
It’s an impressive milestone and one we hope to build on. Giving blood is so important and can make the difference between life and death.
NHS Blood and Transplant plans its donation sessions in line with patient needs, increasing efficiency, while providing a good service to donors. A benefit of the online booking system is an increase in donor attendance rates at sessions from those who booked online, helping the organisation to maximise the effectiveness of blood collection at sessions.