THE trust that runs Basingstoke hospital has addressed issues raised with its blood bank, blaming the failings on a ‘national shortage’ of specialists and ‘staff sickness’.

As previously reported, Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (HHFT) was found to need ‘urgent improvement’ to blood safety at Basingstoke hospital following an unannounced inspection.

READ MORE: 'Urgent improvement' needed to Basingstoke blood bank inspector finds

The Basingstoke hospital blood bank was inspected in October 2023 and findings from a report published by the trust in January said “a number of failures” were found.

During the inspection failures to comply with the guide to Good Practice were identified, which the report said indicated that the Transfusion Laboratory’s operations “fell short of acceptable standards”.

A spokesperson for HHFT said the trust was found to be compliant with regulation, “earning praise for work achieved when faced with the challenge of a national shortage of compliant and fully trained blood and transfusion specialist biomedical scientists”.

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They added that the gradings given are either ‘critical’, ‘major’ and ‘other’, saying: “HHFT was found to have zero critical findings and three major findings relating to delays in some updates to the back-office quality management system due to staff sickness and vacancies. This meant core work was prioritised.

“Work is well underway to address these within agreed timescales with extra staff to support this service in the short term and as part of a longer-term workforce plan. The use of locum staff was agreed and in place before the inspection and HHFT was acknowledged for the action it had taken.”