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NHS exec: Organ unit not going private

NHS Blood and Transplant chief executive Lynda Hamlyn said the unit is not being privatised and is not included in recent changes in health legislation.

In a reply to a letter published in The Guardian, Hamlyn said she needed to offer reassurance about the future of blood and organ donation.

“NHS Blood and Transplant is not being privatised and was not part of the recent changes in health legislation. Our services were reviewed in 2011 and ministers endorsed our unique and valuable role in saving lives through blood and organ donation.

“Making any financial transaction in exchange for an organ is illegal. Any suggestion of selling or buying organs would completely undermine public trust, and lead to fewer organs being donated and more people dying unnecessarily waiting for a transplant,” she said.

She added that the blood supplied by the unit is done so on a not-for-profit basis and the prices charged to hospitals are based on covering the cost of collection, testing, processing and delivery. “Plasma Resources is owned by the government and is a separate business. We do not supply blood or blood components to PRUK,” she added.