The NHS in London are calling for more blood donors to step forward and help address a surge in demand for blood in the capital.

Donors in London were urged to keep their appointments or book new ones this summer as demand for blood "creeps back to normal capacity" after falling previously.

Consequently extra appointments have been added at four London donor centres to help meet this rise in demand.

Those include the Twickenham centre, where just 3 in 10 appointment slots are currently booked out.

Elsewhere at the other large donations sites, there were 3 in 10 appointments at Shepherd’s Bush donor centre, 5 in 10 appointments at Stratford donor centre and 6 in 10 appointments at West End donor centre.

NHS authorities in London want to fill those slots out to keep blood stocks strong and make sure health workers can "ensure patients continue to get the lifesaving blood they need for emergencies, childbirth, surgery, cancer treatment and to treat blood and medical conditions" an NHS spokesperson said.

To that end NHS London said they were ensuring "extra safety measures" amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

"All donors are triaged with a temperature check on arrival. Hand gels and hand washing facilities are available, donors are spaced apart and staff are doing extra cleaning. Staff and donors wear face coverings," an NHS statement read.

Two blood groups in particular, O negative and B negative, are of particular importance for health workers and people of those blood types are especially urged to consider donating.

O negative donors have "the universal blood type" that can be used with any patient, and so are considered the "lifeblood" of emergency services with donations always needed.

B negative is meanwhile one of the rarest blood types, so donors with this type are needed to keep stocks up and help patients.

"We want all patients to get the lifesaving blood they need over the summer months and are appealing to our amazing donors to make and keep an appointment to give blood at four of our donor centres in London," Nadine Eaton, the head of blood donation marketing at NHS Blood and Transplant, said.

"We are seeing a rise in demand for blood from hospitals, so we need our loyal donors more than ever to help us to keep hospitals supplied with lifesaving blood. Each donation can save or improve up to three lives.

"All donor centres in London are open as usual with extra safety measures in place. If you are fit and healthy please make an appointment to donate. If you need to cancel please let us know as soon as possible."

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