Blood donors in the UK will begin receiving text messages when their donations are used as part of a scheme to encourage more donors.
The idea, similar to a model already used in Sweden, was announced on World Blood Donor on 14 June, and comes as the NHS said they need 200,000 new donors this year.
Mike Stredder, Director of Blood Donation at NHS Blood and Transplant said: “We are always looking at new ways to encourage donation and we hope that the new texting service will show how vital blood donations are used to help people in need.
“While donors don’t get to meet the people who have benefited from their blood, our texts to donors will remind them that hospitals, and patients, rely on their donations”.
The text message service will tell donors that their blood has been dispatched and provide the name of the hospital it has been sent to, with some donors already receiving messages.
Blood donor Zoe Scarrow said: “It makes it more personal to know exactly which hospital received your blood donation. I was so excited and proud that I texted my family to let them know too”.
The most urgent need is among young people and those from South Asian and black communities, who have higher rates of rare blood types and conditions requiring transfusions.
Just one percent of people who gave blood in England in the last year came from black communities and only two per cent from South Asian or mixed race communities.