Flooded blood centre resumes vital supplies to hospitals
A blood bank in Bristol has started distributing blood to hospitals across the South West for the first time since it was forced to stop operations due to flooding.
It was service as normal at the blood processing centre off the A38 at Filton after it flooded last month.
And a banner was unveiled at the centre – which is one of the biggest in the world – to thank staff, contractors and the emergency services to mark their efforts over the last ten days.
Crews from Avon Fire and Rescue Service who helped pump water from the site and Great Western Ambulance employees based next door to the blood bank who had also helped out were invited to be part of the celebrations.
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The centre was forced to close on Monday, September 24, after heavy overnight rain and the collapse of a culvert.
Staff had to move between 7,000 and 8,000 pints of blood out of the centre in refrigerated vehicles to ensure that no donations were wasted as a result of the flooding.
And blood centre manager John Kirkwood said that as a result of staff working into the evening to ensure that all the blood went out.
While the blood bank was closed to orders hospitals were reminded of the other centres to contact as arranged through contingency plans.
About 600 people work at the blood bank but Mr Kirkwood said that Mondays tend to be the day when the fewest staff are in so it did not cause as much disruption as it could have done.
The first employees returned within a couple of days.
Mr Kirkwood said: "All our staff were magnificent, they stayed on and worked right up to dark."
He said that all employees were due to receive a letter from the chief executive of NHS Blood and Transplant thanking them for their commitment.