asked Her Majesty's Government:
Further to the Written Answer by Lord Hunt of Kings Heath on 3 May (WA 236), what plans they have to extend blood cord banking beyond the four National Health Service hospitals currently collecting cord blood to the rest of the United Kingdom; how much of the £10 million allocated thus far has been used; what percentage of this will be used to meet the requirements of the European Union tissue directive; and what plans they have to meet the recommendation of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists to consider the future funding of cord blood banks.
To support the clinical need, the number of cord blood donations required in the bank is finite: around 20,000 is the long-term target. Further collection sites will be added if it is necessary to achieve the target stock. All established quality standards and procedures used at the Cord Blood Bank comply with the requirements of the European Union Tissue and Cells Directive (EUTCD). So far, £1 million of the allocated funding has been spent. Separate information is not collected on what percentage of this spend is on the requirements of the EUTCD.
NHS Blood and Transplant is developing strategic and business plans for the funding and development of the British bone marrow registry and the Cord Blood Bank beyond 2009. These are due to be submitted to the department this autumn.