New donation safety checks FAQs
Why these changes are being made
The Isle of Man Blood Transfusion Service (IOMBTS) is introducing new donation safety checks to keep in line with regulations in the UK. The Advisory Committee on the Safety of Blood, Tissues and Organs – which advises UK health departments – has recommended changes to the criteria around who can give blood after examining evidence relating to blood donation and sexual behaviour presented by the FAIR (For the Assessment of Individualised Risk) steering group.
Patient safety is the heart of everything we do. Switching to an individualised check is a fairer and as safe a way to identify infection.
Following the FAIR steering group’s recommendations and in line with scientific evidence, blood donation has become more inclusive. More people could be eligible to donate blood based on their health, travel and sexual behaviour. The changes mean many gay men, bisexual men and men who have sex with men in a long-term relationship are now be able to donate blood at any time, as well as their partners.
Impact of the changes
The only impact these changes will have is to make the blood donation process on the Island fairer and more inclusive. The pre-donation process will be the same, but using a different DSC (Donation Safety Check) form. These changes do not affect the safety of any blood product, as they will be tested in the same manner as always.
When the changes will take place
The changes will be made from 1 June 2023. The next donation session following the introduction of these changes will be Sunday 18 June at the Jubilee Suite on Westmoreland Road in Douglas.
What is changing
The questions we ask before you give blood have changed:
- We have removed a question to ask if you or your partner has had sexual contact in Sub-Saharan Africa
- We will now ask all donors if they have had a new sexual partner, or multiple partners, in the last three months
- Anyone who has had anal sex with a new partner or multiple partners in the last three months will not be able to give blood at that time, regardless of their gender or their partner’s gender
Contacting us about these changes
If you have any queries you can either speak to one of our staff at a donation session, or alternatively, contact the IOM Blood transfusion Service helpline on +44 1624 650637 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org