Sheffield Teaching Hospitals joins forces with NHS Blood and Transplant in the fight against blood cancers
Sheffield Teaching Hospitals is set to help people across the UK and internationally who need a life-saving blood stem cell or bone marrow transplant. The Trust, in collaboration with NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT), has won a contract with national charity Anthony Nolan to become the first regional stem cell collection centre outside of London.
Anthony Nolan matches donors to people with blood cancers, such as leukaemia, and other conditions who need life-saving blood and bone marrow stem cell transplants. All blood cells originate in the bone marrow from the same type of cell, called a blood stem cell. Blood and bone marrow stem cell transplants can replace diseased or damaged bone marrow and immune systems in people with blood cancers and other serious diseases.
NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) has a long history of providing specialist patient therapies, including stem cell harvests from their unit based in Sheffield Teaching Hospitals. As part of this new collaboration, donors selected for stem cell collection by Anthony Nolan will now be able to donate their cells in Sheffield rather than having to travel to London.
Dr John Snowden, Blood and Marrow Transplant Director, at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals, said he was delighted that NHSBT and the Trust had become a regional centre.
He said: “This contract will help us create a first class bone marrow stem cell collection centre which will form the basis of life saving treatments for patients all over the world. Of course, we are all entirely dependent on the kindness and selflessness of the individual donors to provide this collection service, and the central location in Sheffield will help their travelling and other logistical arrangements, as well as increasing the UK's ability to meet the growing demands for bone marrow and stem cell transplantation worldwide
“The award of this contract to Sheffield Teaching Hospitals reflects the strong partnership it has with NHSBT and the high quality, cost effective services we are able to offer. Alongside the Department of Haematology’s regional Blood and Marrow Transplant Programme, this stem cell collection centre puts Sheffield at the heart of the expanding field of stem cell transplantation.”
Catherine Howell, Chief Nurse for Patient Services at NHSBT said “This new partnership is a further step in our collaboration with Anthony Nolan to help save more lives and improve the life chances of others".
Ailsa Ogilvie, Head of Operations at Anthony Nolan, said their partnership with NHSBT and Sheffield Teaching Hospitals highlighted their commitment to the welfare of their remarkable donors.
She said: “This new collection centre will allow us to offer a choice of location to our donors, making donation as convenient as possible for them. We hope that this will not only build on our reputation for providing a world class service, but will also allow us to provide more lifesaving transplants for people with blood cancer.”
· Anthony Nolan is a pioneering charity that saves the lives of people with blood cancer. Every day, we use our register to match remarkable volunteers willing to donate their blood stem cells (or bone marrow) to people in desperate need of a lifesaving transplant.
· Every 20 minutes, someone in the UK is diagnosed with a blood cancer, such as leukaemia.
· There are nearly 1,600 people in the UK in need of a blood stem cell transplant. This is usually their last chance of survival.
· 70% of patients will not find a matching donor from within their families. We provide two potentially lifesaving transplants every day, but for every patient we help, there is another who sadly we can’t because no match can be found.
· NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) is a joint England and Wales Special Health Authority. Its remit includes the provision of a reliable, efficient supply of blood and associated services to the NHS in England and North Wales. It is also the organ donor organisation for the UK and is responsible for matching and allocating donated organs.