Training allows nurse practitioners to authorise patient blood products

Jan 2023 Blood transplant training.jpg
Published 19.01.2023


New training to allow specialist practitioners to make decisions around blood components and transfusions as part of their patients’ care is now available locally.

A number of non-medical staff are taking part, or have already completed, a course run by NHS Blood and Transplant giving them the knowledge and skills needed to authorise the safe use of blood components.

It follows a recently-approved a policy by North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust that for the first time will allow authorisation of blood components by non-medical staff working across its hospitals.

This means that in the same way as medical professionals can request and authorise a blood transfusion, specialist practitioners will now have the same authority.

Haematology nurse practitioners Lottie Symmans and Stella O’Neill - who work across the Peterborough City and Hinchingbrooke Hospital sites - have successfully completed their training and assessment.

Stella said: “The training has enhanced our roles vastly. We have now continued to develop these roles to try and further improve the quality of care and support for patients and help our colleagues in the haematology/oncology day unit.

“Being able to authorise blood products assists with prompt treatment of our haematology patients undergoing treatments, particularly those receiving intense chemotherapy, which affects their blood counts and often results in frequent visits and transfusions.” 

Lottie added: “Authorisation of blood products is not included for the usual prescribing course, by undertaking this training we can fully assess and treat our patients as required, we hope this makes a difference to our patients requiring regular transfusions as part of their treatment.”

North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust transfusion practitioner Kaye Bowen added: “We considered the alternatives to transfusions being authorised only by medical professionals, and following this we looked into relevant courses to allow our specialist practitioners to have the same authority.

“There are a number of benefits to the patient, not least that staff are able to provide continuous care and support to those patients with whom they have built up a rapport – and we are certainly seeing this in haematology thanks to Stella and Lottie.”

Once staff have successfully completed the course, they are assessed in practice under the supervision of a consultant to assess their competency.

Peterborough City Hospital, Rutland and Stamford Hospital and Hinchingbrooke Hospital in Huntingdon are all part of North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust.


Pic cap:

Haematology nurse practitioners Lottie Symmans (left) and Stella O’Neill are the first in the Trust to complete the NHS Blood and Transplant training.


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