‘Millions at risk’ from Sheffield blood centre closure, claim MPs

NHS Blood and Transplant Service, Longley Lane, Sheffield
NHS Blood and Transplant Service, Longley Lane, Sheffield
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A group of northern MPs are calling for a U-turn on the decision to close a specialist NHS unit in Sheffield.

Around 45 people are to lose their jobs after plans to shut the blood supply chain manufacturing facility on Longley Lane, close to the Northern General Hospital, were agreed.

Manufacturing services currently based in Sheffield and Newcastle are being transferred to Manchester.

The MPs, including Sheffield Brightside and Hillsborough MP Harry Harpham, say the decision will put ‘millions of people across the north of England at risk’ and have written to Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt.

Mr Harpham, who organised the letter with Newcastle MP Chi Onwurah, said: “If there were a large-scale disaster in Yorkshire or the North East, and the emergency services needed a large amount of blood for transfusions, it is doubtful whether supplies could be brought over the Pennines from Manchester in time.

“We should think twice before breaking up experienced and dedicated NHS teams and putting people’s lives at risk.”

The sites would not be likely to close until 2017.