By Max Clarke
Labour MP Jim Dobbin today led an adjournment debate on the government's decision to consider privatising parts of the NHS Blood Service.
Health minister Anne Milton has confirmed that an in-depth review will be commissioned into opportunities to make the NHS Blood Service more commercially effective. The NHS Blood Service has also confirmed that it is not ruling out the privatisation of parts of the blood service.
A petition opposing privatisation of the Service has been signed by 36,000 people from across England and Wales. The public, MP Dobbin argued, would likely be less generous when it comes to donating their blood if a privately owned company is seen to be profiting from the move, citing a reported fall in donations in New Zealand after partial privatisation.
The assistant general secretary of leading trades union Unite, Jennie Bremner said:
"People have been shocked to learn the Department of Health is considering allowing the private sector to profit from their blood. 36,000 people have signed Unite's petition opposing the privatisation of the NHS Blood service but the NBS’ board will not rule out privatisation of parts of the service. Donors help save the lives of hundreds of thousands of people every year by giving blood. It's absolutely wrong for private companies to profit from this very special service."