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Last Updated: Tuesday, 20 February 2007, 14:50 GMT
Blood unit faces phased closure
Blood bag
Blood donations will not be affected by the plant's closure
Transfusion chiefs have decided to shut an Edinburgh plant which manufactured blood products.

The move comes after changes in the supply of blood plasma products approved by the health minister in June last year.

The Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service (SNBTS) was unable to find a new owner for the site at Liberton.

Closure of the Protein Fractionation Centre (PFC) will be phased to ensure 130 staff are redeployed.

Keith Thompson, SNBTS national director, said: "It is important to stress that this decision has nothing to do with the mainstream blood donor and collection activities.

"It is vitally important that people continue to give blood to save and improve the lives of patients in Scotland."

'Endanger lives'

Professor Stuart Bain, chief executive of NHS National Services Scotland (NSS), said: "Every serious opportunity to develop the centre has been explored but we now find ourselves with no choice but to begin scaling back operations for eventual closure.

"I very much regret the impact this will have on staff and they will be offered maximum support.

"NSS will work closely with unions to ensure every effort is made to re-deploy staff and avoid the need for redundancies."

However, the Amicus union described the PFC's closure as a "scandal", which could threaten lives in Scotland.

An spokesman said: "The closure of this plant in Scotland could endanger lives as these products now have to be brought in from outside.

"If, for example, there's a problem with transport because of the weather then supplies might not be able to reach Scotland."

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