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Blood donor clinic may be forced to move

Dublin's city centre blood donor clinic may have to close down and move to new premises.

Rising costs and a decline in demand for blood are putting financial pressure on the Irish Blood Transfusion Service (IBTS).

A move away from its high-profile clinic in D'Olier Street has been mooted

The minutes of a meeting of board members revealed that "the option of remaining in D'Olier Street has been reviewed and the substantial increase in cost expected on rent review has been considered".

Reported in the Medical Independent, the minutes stated that an offer of the ground floor of the premises was deemed "unsuitable to our needs".

The IBTS did not reveal the current and anticipated rental costs of keeping the clinic open.

A spokesman for the service said it was "commercially sensitive information at this point in time".

He told the publication that the IBTS had not yet made a decision on whether it would move out of D'Olier Street.

The widespread public recognition of the presence of the clinic within a few metres of O'Connell Bridge will be taken into consideration.

"If the IBTS decides to move, then another clinic would be located in the city centre environs," said the spokesman.

cutbacks

The IBTS annual report stated the use of blood and platelets has continued to decline due to less wastage, improved surgical techniques and less elective surgery taking place due to cutbacks in health spending.

This falling demand for blood has had a serious impact on the service's income, which is generated by selling its products and services to hospitals.

A statement in the report by IBTS chief executive Andrew Kelly said that any scope for cost reductions would not be sufficient to meet the expected reduction in income.

The IBTS spokesman said that in terms of exploring ways to cut costs they would make a decision at a later date.

"The decision to move to single-site processing will be implemented by late next year and the whole blood and platelet collection models are under review as part of the 2015 budget preparation," he said.

Donated blood lasts only 35 days. Platelets and neo-natal blood last between five and seven days.

aokeeffe@herald.ie


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