Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service

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Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service
Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service.png
TypeStrategic Business Unit of NHS National Services Scotland
HeadquartersThe Jack Copland Centre, 52 Research Avenue North, Heriot-Watt Research Park
Region served
Parent organisation
NHS National Services Scotland

The Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service (SNBTS) is the national blood, blood product and tissue provider. It makes up a Strategic Business Unit of NHS National Services Scotland (NSS).[1]


SNBTS, Gartnavel Hospital
1944 SNBTA Recruitment Poster by K. M. Munnich

The first dedicated transfusion service in Scotland was formed at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh in the 1930s.[2] The Edinburgh Blood Transfusion Service (EBTS) was established in 1936 with Jack Copland as Organiser and Helen White as Secretary.[3] Helen White took over as Organiser in 1940 when Copland moved into a national role. The first meeting of the Scottish National Blood Transfusion Associsation (SNBTA) took place in Edinburgh in February 1940.

Key Personnel[edit]

In the 1940s Helen White played a key role in the development of the blood donor service in Edinburgh and throughout Scotland, on her initiative a network of voluntary organisers was established. The network was characterised by its friendliness and the care she took in making voluntary donation an enjoyable activity.[3]


There are five blood centres, in Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Inverness.[1]

The SNBTS also has several mobile units that travel to the remote centres and communities. These are usually set up in village halls and community centres. They tend to return approximately every 13 weeks, which can allow for up to four donations each year.

In November 2011 it was announced that a new national centre would be built within the Heriot-Watt research park in Edinburgh, and would include labs, offices and other facilities.[4] By October 2014, construction work had begun on the new £43 million facility.[5] The new centre is due to be completed in 2017 and has been funded using the Scottish Government’s Non Profit Distributing (NPD) model.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Our services: Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service". NHS National Services Scotland. Retrieved 1 January 2014.
  2. ^ "About the SNBTS - History and Background". The Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service. Archived from the original on 27 June 2009. Retrieved 14 August 2009.
  3. ^ a b Masson, Alastair (1993). History of the Blood Transfusion Service in Edinburgh. Edinburgh. p. 99.
  4. ^ "Blood transfusion service to build new HQ in Capital". Edinburgh Evening News. 26 November 2011. Retrieved 30 June 2014.
  5. ^ "Construction begins on new national blood centre". The Scotsman. 28 October 2014. Retrieved 29 October 2014.
  6. ^ "National blood centre" (Press release). Scottish Government. 19 November 2012. Retrieved 2 December 2015.

External links[edit]