Blood: Medical Equipment

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered at on 23 November 2023.

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Photo of Mark Tami Mark Tami Opposition Pairing Whip (Commons)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment her Department has made of the adequacy apheresis capacity; and what plans her Department has to increase that capacity.

Photo of Andrea Leadsom Andrea Leadsom The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

The NHS England Specialised Commissioning, via the Bone Marrow Transplant Clinical Reference Group (CRG), is undertaking an assessment of the available apheresis capacity across England, working with NHS Blood and Transplant. The first phase of this assessment is complete and the CRG will define the next phase of this assessment at its meeting in November.

NHS Blood and Transplant is the largest provider of apheresis services and has been increasing capacity significantly over a number of years, averaging an increase of about 10% per annum. There are a number of projects expected in the next 12 months to both increase nursing capacity and the physical space in which apheresis occurs.

Horizon scanning within the advanced therapy area suggests that a significant increase in cell collection will be required within the next three to five years. The MedTech Funding Mandate for Spectra Optia in sickle cell disease has assisted in funding the expansion of services. NHS England is working in partnership with the Health Innovation Network to deliver the requirements of the MedTech Funding Mandate Policy which mandates the delivery of the Spectra Optia Apheresis System for the automation of red cell exchange for sickle cell patients. Funding has been provided to increase access to this technology across the country.

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