NHS Blood & Transplant

From today, our client NHS Blood and Transplant is uniting with blood donor organisations across 21 countries to highlight an almost 30% international drop in blood donation.

Our integrated Missing Type campaign, which first ran in England and North Wales back in 2015, this year brings together 25 blood services from 21 countries covering one billion of the world’s population.  They are all calling for new donors to ensure blood donation for future generations.

A number of high profile brands and organisations are backing the campaign, and Engine agencies WCRS and Trailer Park have been working together to create a brilliant new TV ad featuring some of these partners, who include Microsoft, Boots, Warburton’s, Manchester City, Santander, TFL and Odeon.

Other major supporters include Lloyds Bank, Paddy Power and Royal Mail, who have issued a special postmark for all letters sent in the UK this week to support the campaign.

PR activity is being led by MHP Communications and throughout the week As, Bs and Os, the letters of the main blood groups, will disappear in everyday and iconic locations around the globe including Australia, America, Japan, South Africa and Ireland.

On top of this, patients from around the world have thanked blood donors in a moving video to highlight that in a world without As, Bs and Os, they would not be here. Alongside celebrities from around the world, who will be demonstrating their support for the movement throughout the week.

Across the countries participating in the campaign there are some differences in the numbers of donors and blood groups most in demand but all share the need for more new donors. Key barriers to people donating that have been identified by services around the world include.

– Wider and more exotic travel
– People having less time to give in an increasingly busy world
– Lack of awareness of the process
– Lack of awareness about the need for more diverse blood donors
– Fear of needles

Mike Stredder, Director of Blood Donation at NHS Blood and Transplant, the service that collects, tests and processes blood for hospitals across England, said:

“Missing Type really captured people’s imagination last year, drawing important attention to the need for new blood donors. In just ten days of campaign activity 30,000 people registered as blood donors across England and North Wales.

“Our campaign concept was very positively received by other blood services around the world. And we’re really proud to have coordinated this year’s campaign across 25 services to draw global attention to the decline in new blood donors and need for people across the world to start donating.

“Blood donation is an amazing gift. Transfusions save lives and transform health for millions across the world. Every donation can help or save up to three patients and last year in England alone 900,000 people gave blood – helping up to 2.7 million patients. Whether it is patients receiving treatment for cancer, blood disorders, after accidents or during surgery, or new mums who lost blood in childbirth, blood is an absolutely essential part of modern healthcare.

“Thanks to the generosity of our current donors, hospitals have the blood needed to treat patients and there is not a crisis in blood stocks. Despite overall blood use in hospitals declining, we need more young donors to safeguard blood donation for future generations. And it’s vital the blood donor community reflects the diversity of the population because blood types vary across communities and patients need well-matched blood.

“Don’t worry if you’ve never given blood before and don’t know what blood group you are – you find out shortly after your first donation. What’s important is that you register as a donor and book your first appointment to donate. We particularly need new A negative and O negative donors, and people willing to become dedicated platelet donors.”

NHS Blood and Transplant’s donor recruitment work, including last year’s Missing Type campaign, the introduction of a digital real time booking system, and the use of social media to recruit new donors, have led to an increasing number of people signing up and starting to donate. But new donors are needed every year to replace those who can no longer donate as well as ensure the right mix of blood groups to meet patient needs now and in the future.

You can show your support for the campaign on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram by dropping the letters A O and B from your name and using #MissingType.

To sign up as a new donor, visit: www.blood.co.uk or call 0300 123 23 23.