People are not donating enough ‘lifesaving’ blood plasma in Reading, according to the NHS.

The Reading Donor Centre in Kings Road is 60 per cent empty each day, with around 140 spare appointments every week.

The NHS has launched a campaign of adverts in the town to to drive up donor numbers over the next six months.

Reading Plasma Donor Centre manager Paula Ussher said: “Plasma is a powerful, lifesaving part of your blood, which can be used to make unique, lifesaving medicines.

“Since donation restarted we’ve had many fantastic people come in to donate but we still see too many empty chairs every day.

“We need your help. In the next few months, we need thousands more people to start donating at our donor centre.

“Plasma donation is safe and easy, it doesn’t take long, and you will help save and improve the lives of some of the most vulnerable people in the country.”

Reading Chronicle: A new NHS campaign advertised in ReadingA new NHS campaign advertised in Reading

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The NHS relies on imported plasma medicines but global supplies are under long standing pressure due to rising demand. This has increased due to coronavirus affecting donation rates in America.

With donations restarting after a break of more than 20 years, research shows only two in 10 people know about it.

Plasma makes up most of your blood and is the fluid that carries everything around the body, including the antibodies which can help the recipient fight infections.

It is used to make medicines full of donor antibodies which fight bacterial and viral infections.

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This medicine, known as immunoglobulin, strengthens or stabilises the immune systems of people with rare, life-threatening diseases.

Around 750 people in the Thames Valley region received immunoglobulins last year. Plasma donation is similar to blood donation.

In plasma donation, your blood is gradually run through a machine which separates out some of your plasma.

To donate plasma, call 0300 123 23 23, search ‘donate plasma’ or visit