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The supply of blood components and products in sufficient quantities is key to any effective health care system. This report describes the challenges faced by the English blood service, NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT), towards the end of the COVID-19 pandemic, which in October 2022 led to an Amber Alert being declared to hospitals indicating an impending blood shortage. The impact on the hospital transfusion services and clinical users is explained. The actions taken by NHSBT to mitigate the blood supply challenges and ensure equity of transfusion support for hospitals in England including revisions to the national blood shortage plans are described. This report focuses on the collaboration and communication between NHSBT, NHS England (NHSE), Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), National Blood Transfusion Committee (NBTC), National Transfusion Laboratory Managers Advisory Group for NBTC (NTLM), National Transfusion Practitioners Network, the medical Royal Colleges and clinical colleagues across the NHS.

Original publication




Journal article


Br J Haematol

Publication Date



amber alert, blood donors, blood service, blood shortages, clinical transfusion medicine, shortage plans