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The Blood Service strategy emphasises readiness and regeneration

4/11/2022 10:00

The Finnish Red Cross Blood Service’s (FRCBS) operating strategy for the coming years emphasises flexible operational readiness, operational reliability and the development of new treatment methods. Voluntary blood donors play an important role in the reliability of Finland’s blood supply. The corona pandemic years have left their mark on the operations and future needs.

It all starts with the donors

The operation of the Blood Service is based on the commitment of volunteer blood donors and stem cell donors to helping patients. During the coronavirus pandemic, the need for a wider donor base was emphasised, as precautions forced society to avoid people moving about and encountering other people. Donors had to be invited to donate blood more than usual, and often the invitations were directed at the same people.

- In addition to the scope, the Blood Service also strives for maintain the diversity of the donor base in terms of age, gender, blood groups and also ethnicity. With the security provided by versatility, we are able to deliver all the blood products needed to treat patients also under exceptional circumstances, such as during a pandemic,” says Pia Westman, Director of the Blood Service.

- One important objective is to increase the proportion of men in blood donors. They now make up only 40% of the donor base. For biological reasons, men can donate blood more safely, more easily and more often than women, Westman states.

Readiness will be reinforced

The pandemic underlined the importance of operational readiness and certainty. The Blood Service is the only blood bank operating in Finland, so it must be possible to rely on its ability to function in every type of circumstance. From the point of view of readiness, it is important for the Blood Service to take care of the premises, equipment, material storage facilities, the competence and working capacity of its personnel, as well as strong finances that provide security. 

- We are the only operator in our field in Finland, so security of supply is of paramount importance to us and to society as a whole. 

- Our new centre to be completed in Vehkala, Vantaa this year, is also an important strategic innovation to support patient care. It strengthens our operational reliability and helps us to keep our regeneration going,” Westman says. 

New treatment methods are based on strong research

In addition to being prepared, development and regeneration are an important theme in the strategy. The Blood Service is actively involved in developing new treatment methods for the treatment of severe illnesses. Its Cell Production Centre develops cell therapy preparations for the treatment of cancers and severe burns, for example. The product development is based on research carried out in the Blood Service.

- We will continue the strong scientific research and the development of our services. In addition to our own research work, our research fund also aids other research that further develops our sector,” Pia Westman says.

Our renewal is also supported by the digital services that serve the donors, hospitals and our own operations, as well the analysis and utilisation of data.

The Blood Service strategy can be accessed on our website at: 
www.bloodservice.fi/about-us/values-and-strategy

The Annual Report 2021 provides information on how the Blood Service coped with the second year of the coronavirus pandemic. The Annual Report contains a lot of additional information on our operations, as well as the most important statistics and indicators.