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Last Updated: Saturday, 19 November 2005, 17:37 GMT
Blood service privatisation fears
Blood bag
A review of blood services is ongoing
Parts of the Scottish Blood Transfusion Service could be privatised following a review of services currently under way, it has emerged.

A pair of departments within the service - both of which deal with blood processing - are being scrutinised.

However, haemophiliacs have raised concerns that moving the services out of the NHS could see public safety sacrificed for profit.

It is feared that donor levels could fall as a result.

Safety prioritised

Currently about 200,000 people donate blood each year in Scotland.

However, those running the service have said that significant investment is required to keep up with regulatory changes and the wider competitive environment.

They have stressed that, regardless of any changes, safety will always be the top priority.

But fears remain that unless the reasons are made very clear any privatisation - even partial - could scare off the very people upon whom the service relies.

Ministers will receive proposals from the review panel shortly and will issue a recommendation after considering all options available.

See campaigners' fears about such a move

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