We work closely with NHS blood donation services across the UK, to improve the opportunities for people with genetic haemochromatosis (GH) to become blood donors.

During 2022 we worked closely with NHS Blood & Transplant to negotiate improved donor arrangements for people with genetic haemochromatosis living in England. This built upon earlier work to open appointments to GH donors and further improvements to the service in November 2020.

From January 2023...

People with genetic haemochromatosis are very welcome to donate blood when they are having their iron levels regularly monitored by their GP or specialist team, and they are generally fit and well, have no organ damage and meet the usual eligibility criteria for being a blood donor in England.

GH donors can donate as often as every 6 weeks. You don't need to be in maintenance but its worth getting in touch with the Give Blood team when your venesection interval is every 6 or more weeks.

You can find out for certain if you can be a GH donor by calling 0300 123 23 23. The Give Blood team will be able to take you through the process and discuss whether blood donation is right for you.

Please remember that this is just a donation service. You will need to continue to monitor your iron (serum ferritin and transferrin saturation) through your GP or hospital healthcare team. 

People with genetic haemochromatosis may be able to enroll as blood donors outside the usual age restrictions. If you are between 66 and 70, then you need to have had a venesection (or donated blood) without feeling unwell at least once in the past. If you are over 70 then you may donate if you have had a venesection without feeling unwell in the last 2 years.

Please be aware of the standard NHSBT eligibility criteria around waiting for hospital appointments or investigations which mean you will be asked to wait until you have had any necessary investigations (and results have been reviewed by your specialist) or you have been advised by the specialist that none are required.”

If you experience problems booking donor appointments...

Previously, some GH donors had difficulty securing an appointment to donate at their preferred venue on their preferred date. To help, the Give Blood team have setup a special helpline which you can call if you are struggling to secure an appointment. Simply call 0300 303 2732 with your donor reference details and the team will arrange a prioritised appointment for you.