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Archived: Filton Blood Centre

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Inspection report

Date of Inspection: 28, 29 January 2014
Date of Publication: 5 March 2014
Inspection Report published 05 March 2014 PDF

People should get safe and appropriate care that meets their needs and supports their rights (outcome 4)

Meeting this standard

We checked that people who use this service

  • Experience effective, safe and appropriate care, treatment and support that meets their needs and protects their rights.

How this check was done

We looked at the personal care or treatment records of people who use the service, carried out a visit on 28 January 2014 and 29 January 2014, observed how people were being cared for and checked how people were cared for at each stage of their treatment and care. We talked with people who use the service, talked with staff and reviewed information given to us by the provider.

Our judgement

People's safety and welfare was ensured because the donation process was planned and delivered in such a way as to protect them and those who benefitted from donated blood supplies.

Reasons for our judgement

Each time donors attended the donor centre or a mobile blood donation session, they had to complete a donor health check (DHC) form. The DHC asked questions about the donor’s medical history, any medicines they take or have previously taken, and recent travel abroad. Donors were asked a number of questions about their lifestyle: these were relevant to blood safety. These checks ensured that the whole blood or blood component product they donated was safe to be received by the recipient.

Donors told us “When we arrive we are given the form to complete”, “I fill in the same information every time I donate (every fortnight). It seems excessive, however I have to sign to give my consent on the form”, “I am sent the form about a week before the donation session” and “There are sometimes different questions on the form so I have to read it carefully. Staff check the details with me again during the health screening”.

All donors had a confidential health screening consultation with a donor carer prior to donating whole blood or blood components (for example platelets). Information on the DHC was checked and the donor was given the opportunity to ask further questions. Donors at the mobile blood donation session and those donating whole blood in the donor centre were advised to drink 500mls of water prior to the donation starting as research had shown this to be beneficial to post-donation recovery. Those donors who were donating platelets were provided with drinks and snacks throughout the procedure, as this could take between 70-80 minutes.

The donor carers referred to the qualified nurse when they had medical queries. We saw that the donor carers were not present during the donor/nurse consultation in order that matters could be discussed in private. At the mobile blood donor sessions, health screening was undertaken in a screened booth. In order to provide some privacy for the confidential discussions, the radio played to mask the personal conversations.

A finger prick test was completed using a single-use lancet (a needle) and pipette (a tube to suck up a drop of blood). The blood drop was tested for haemoglobin (the oxygen carrying capacity of the blood). If the haemoglobin (Hb) level was low the donation would not proceed. If the Hb level was border-line, a sample of venous blood would be taken with donor consent, and a more precise test was completed. These measures ensured that the donation of blood was not detrimental to the health and welfare of the donor.

When donors were ready to donate, the donor carer rechecked the personal details and consent again and then supported the donor to be comfortable on the donor couch or chair. The donor site was rigorously cleaned using an antiseptic chloraprep wand and a non-touch technique. A sterile needle was inserted into a vein in the donor’s inner elbow and connected to a sterile blood collection pack (a single use closed system). The blood was collected by an automated agitator, which also weighed the donation. Donor carers told us that once a collection pack had been removed from sealed packaging, it had a shelf life of 1.5 hours. At the end of the procedure, the sterile needle was removed and a pressure dressing applied.

Platelet donors in the donor centre were connected to machinery for the period of their donation. The machines separated the platelets off and then returned the other blood components to the donor. The donor carers monitored both the donor and the machinery during the procedure. One donor carer told us, after the first return of blood to the donor, they had to ensure that the procedure was going well.

Following donation donors were offered refreshments and observed in the ‘tea table area’ to ensure there were no ill effects. In the mobile blood donation session we noted that two donors had become unwell following donation. One donor had become unwell and fainted, whilst the other had started to re-bleed from the donor site. Dono