NHS Blood And Transplant Organises First Ever RO Conference

On September 07, 2022, NHS Blood and Transplant rallied key stakeholders and partners organisations to discuss best ways to encourage more donors of Black African heritage to give blood.  According to their forecast, hospital demand for RO blood will increase by 14% in the next 5years so they absolutely need partner and community support to achieve the required 16,600 new black blood donors.

This all-important London RO conference was organised to leverage the experience, skills and knowledge of partner organisations and other stakeholders to improve patient outcomes, even as they rebuild and sustain blood stocks.

The new NHSBT management team seeks to effectively manage relationships with partner organisations and the wider environment so that all key actors may feel motivated, revitalised, and appreciated. Feeling confident in an honest and transparent relationship with NHSBT, these partners will work together to maximise key calendar moments, organise events and community initiatives in targeted localities reminding active and potential donors that “It’s in our blood to treat sickle cell”

Speaking after the RO conference, Marie – Claire Kofi (CEO Plasma of Hope) said “As an organisation serving the Black Community, we will continue to highlight the importance of the RO blood subtype in the treatment of sickle cell patients.

It was nice to see stakeholders engage in such an honest deliberation. Anything but an honest, open, and transparent approach would have been a disservice to the blood donation campaign.  There was openness about the experiences of the partners, their challenges, the Black donor journey, the RO blood gap, and openness about racism in NHS BT.  All stakeholders made a firm commitment to build on this conference and set up a network for change – ensuring that the voices of Black communities are embedded in the work we do. It was a pleasure to be part of such an insightful event.”