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HomeNewsSNP accused of sowing division with Scot or British blood donor question

SNP accused of sowing division with Scot or British blood donor question

The NHS has been condemned for asking for “unnecessary detail” on a person’s identity when they give blood following new guidelines implemented on April 6. But the finger has been pointed at the SNP after the Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service said Nicola Sturgeon’s government set out the categories. This has led to speculation that the categories are a ploy from the SNP to differentiate Scots from the rest of the UK.

The SNBTS said donors from the same ethnic backgrounds are “likely to provide the safest blood”.

The SNBTS was met with social media outrage, with a Twitter user questioning whether there was any medical difference between people of the same ethnicity who identify as Scottish, British or English.

Contacting the SNBTS on the social media platform, they asked: “What medical reason is there for asking how a donor self defines their ethnicity, please?”

Unsatisfied with the response to check out the website for more information, they hit back and added: “So how does identifying someone who chooses white British over white Scottish or vice versa help, please?”

The body then stated: “The categories are not set by SNBTS and are a standard list used by the Scottish Government and other public sector organisations.

“It is optional for the donor whether to answer this or not.”

Another blood donor told the Scottish Daily Express they were “furious” when they saw the question.

A Scottish Conservative spokesman said: “This appears to be a controversial question to be asking people who are stepping up and providing vital blood donations providing to our health service.

“There is no real justification for asking whether you are Scottish or British as part of this and how this could provide any helpful or relevant public health information.

“It is little wonder that this angered people who have been asked this question.”

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A spokesperson for the SNBTS said: “SNBTS began collecting donor ethnicity details from April 6, 2022. This was to improve provision of blood to patients who may have rarer blood types and are reliant on blood transfusion for their wellbeing, such as those with sickle cell disease and thalassaemia.

“Donors from the same ethnic background as these patients are likely to provide the safest blood. The ethnicity question is not mandatory and does affect a donor’s ability to donate if they do not wish to answer the question.

“SNBTS have asked donors to identify as one of the ethnicity groups defined by The Information Services Division (ISD). ISD is a division of National Services Scotland, part of NHS Scotland.

“ISD provides health information, health intelligence, statistical services and advice that support the NHS in progressing quality improvement in health and care and facilitates robust planning and decision making.”

The SNP have been approached for comment.



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