Blood donations – state of play

Research and policy manager, Ian Appleyard discusses the latest update regarding patient waiting times between acupuncture treatments and blood donations. 

SaBTO have met again with the Joint United Kingdom Blood Transfusion and Tissue Transplantation Services Professional Advisory Committee (JPAC). JPAC have agreed the SaBTO position ‘on the deferral of donors following acupuncture which is based on current evidence and is compliant with current legislation, the Blood Safety and Quality Regulations’. The ‘position’ is to remove the deferral period: i.e. your patients won’t have to wait 4 months before giving blood. JPAC have subsequently met with the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) and the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) who have supported the revised position.

The next step is for the DHSC to develop the final recommendations for discussion and approval with devolved health administrations. However, SaBTO have highlighted they have no control over the timetable for ministerial approval.

Summary: a couple more steps have been taken but we must still wait for ministerial approval. As soon as we know more, we will update all BAcC members.

  • You can read our previous statement on blood donation here
  • Our 2023 statement can be found here
  • Donating blood after acupuncture guidance 
  • Info on SaBTO can be found here
  • Minutes from previous SaBTO meetings can be found here, which include recommendations previously put forward by the British Acupuncture Council (BAcC)

For all other enquiries please reach out to us, we’d be happy to answer any questions you may have.