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IBTS clinic considers move to cut costs

The Irish Blood Transfusion Service (IBTS) is considering moving the location of one of its most iconic donor clinics, due to continuing high running costs.

The IBTS will survey its donors, who give blood at the Dublin central clinic on D'Olier Street, to see if the potential move would impact on donations, according to a report in the Medical Independent.

A spokesperson for the IBTS said the cost of renting the city centre premises will remain fixed until the rent review at the end of 2015.

However, a decline in the use of blood platelets in Irish hospitals has damaged the organisation's ability to retain previous years' level of income.

During a board meeting in April, an offer was made to have the ground floor of the Lafayette House building used for a donor clinic.

Members subsequently turned this down because the ground level was deemed "unsuitable to our needs".

The 'needs' mentioned weren't specified by the IBTS.

According to a organisation's spokesperson, the decision regarding the proposed move will be made by the end of 2014.

The IBTS have looked at several locations around Dublin that have been supplied by estate agents, but they haven't disclosed any of the potential choices.

However, the organisation has confirmed that if the clinic was to move from its current location, it would most certainly move to another building based in the Dublin City Centre.

The blood donation clinic has been stationed over two floors of the Lafayette house for nearly 15 years, employing 30 staff, 19 of which are full-time.

The use of blood platelets in Ireland has continued to fall over the last year due to a number of factors, including less elective surgery taking place because of a cut in health spending.

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This and other factors were included in the Service's 2013 Annual report, which was published in June of this year.

Only 3pc of people eligible to give blood actually donate and this year's report also highlighted a drop of 4pc in the number of donations made by the public in 2013.

In response to the findings, the IBTS chief executive Andy Kelly said: "This trend (the decline in the use of platelets) looks like it will continue over the next few years and this poses a major challenge to IBTS to reduce costs even further.

"While there may be some scope for further reduction in costs this will not be sufficient to meet the expected reduction in income," he added.

As a public sector organisation, the employment moratorium, which was introduced in 2009, means the service is suffering due to an inabilty to hire new staff.

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