Construction begins on new regional blood centre in Yorkshire

NHS Blood and Transplant has begun construction of its purpose built new blood centre in Barnsley.

Staff, councillors and contractors gathered at the Capitol Park, Dodworth site today in a ‘breaking ground’ ceremony to begin creating the new building which will present an opportunity to do our life saving work from fit for purpose facilities.

It will also become a hub that will allow us to expand our services in support of hospitals in the region. NHS Blood and Transplant has worked closely with local hospitals and Barnsley Council, the move will lead to improved services and save money for the NHS.

Most of the work carried out at NHS Blood and Transplant’s current sites in Leeds and Sheffield will be transferred to the new centre and the two estates will close by summer 2020.

The move will not affect blood supplies to local hospitals and will not affect how much blood we collect from donors in Leeds and Sheffield.

The Leeds and Sheffield sites had become too large for our needs. They also require substantial investment to provide our target service levels ‘around £16m over 10 years. The consolidation to Barnsley will instead lead to savings of more than £1m a year in running costs.

Ian Trenholm, Chief Executive of NHS Blood and Transplant speaking at the site where construction will begin said: “It’s great to be finally putting the spade into the ground at the beginning of this exciting project. This is our biggest investment in a new facility in a decade.

“From Barnsley, we will distribute blood products, deliver world class laboratory services as well as offer the opportunity to create new advanced cell therapies, support NHS patients across the North of England. This centre will be one of the most advanced of its kind in the world and I hope it will attract other high-tech jobs into the area.”

Cllr Roy Miller, Cabinet Spokesperson for Place, said: “We’re delighted to welcome the new NHS Blood and Transplant centre to Capitol Park in Barnsley. The initial investment of around £15 million is significant, both for the organisation and for our local economy. 350 staff will be employed at the site which will bring new skilled jobs to the area as the centre expands and grows.

“The purpose-built state of the art facility will provide world class services and training amenities here in the heart of Yorkshire and we look forward to supporting the organisation to establish themselves in the borough.”

The mobile blood donation teams currently based at our Leeds and Sheffield estates will stay at Leeds and Sheffield and operate out of new team bases that will be established by 2020. The new facility will house the stock holding unit and the blood transport teams.

There will continue to be plenty of local opportunities for people in Leeds and Sheffield to donate blood, either at venues visited by these mobile blood donation teams, or at our dedicated blood centres in Leeds at The Headrow and Cathedral Court in Sheffield.

NHS Blood and Transplant will support staff affected by the decision in moving to the new centre, finding new roles within NHSBT, and seeking positions with new employers.

Our aim is to invest for the long-term, so that we can respond to the reduced demand for blood, make the best use of every donation, and ensure flexibility to respond quickly to changes in volume and component specification.

  • For additional information please contact Pam Pye in the NHS Blood and Transplant press office on 0151 268 7205 or via pam.pye@nhsbt.nhs.uk
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