Free Blood but the NHS pays £560 a litre.?

Discussion in 'Time Out' started by sirearl, Aug 20, 2010.

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  1. sirearl

    sirearl UKBF Legend Free Member

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    Posted: Aug 20, 2010 By: sirearl Member since: Apr 23, 2007
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  2. jan-july

    jan-july UKBF Newcomer Free Member

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    As the articles states, the wonderful nursing and administration staff of the NHS Blood and Transplant department have to be paid, plus there will be quite a hefty sum paid in advertising for donors. Also there will be costs in testing all the blood donations to ensure each one is fit for purpose.

    Being a donator of 50+ blood donations, I certainly don't have a problem paying for the care and expertise of the staff involved to ensure that my health and the receiver of my donation, wherever it is used, is not at risk.
     
    Posted: Aug 20, 2010 By: jan-july Member since: Dec 31, 2006
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  3. sirearl

    sirearl UKBF Legend Free Member

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    So let me see if the nursing staff get paid £10 an hour it costs the equivalent of 56 hours of work to process 1 litre of blood.:|


    So do the BBC charge the Blood donation service for advertising then.?

    Blimey talk about Great Britain.PLC.

    Earl
     
    Posted: Aug 20, 2010 By: sirearl Member since: Apr 23, 2007
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  4. jan-july

    jan-july UKBF Newcomer Free Member

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    Whoops! Forgot about the tea and biscuits! :D
     
    Posted: Aug 20, 2010 By: jan-july Member since: Dec 31, 2006
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  5. 360interactive

    360interactive UKBF Ace Free Member

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    That's a very simplistic way of looking at it, and i'm surprised especially as you're a businessman (I presume). You should know it doesn't work like that. What about the equipment costs? Storage? Administration? Testing and research? The list goes on.

    Over the last 12 months I have spent a lot of time at one of the UK's biggest and most advanced blood processing plants. It is an incredibly complex process ensuring the blood that is taken from the public is safe and clean for you to use should you ever need it. It is not a simple case of sucking it out into bags and handing it over in exchange for £560.

    The NHSBT also do a lot of research into blood based illnesses etc.
     
    Posted: Aug 21, 2010 By: 360interactive Member since: Jul 20, 2008
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  6. sirearl

    sirearl UKBF Legend Free Member

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    Oh I have a very simplistic way of looking at things,also being a trained engineer gives me a certain insight into the mechanical world.

    Hence I suspect that once the equipment has been paid for it would last for several years without much further capital cost.

    Again as the testing process is probably done by machine I can not see much cost involved there.

    Again storage cost is possibly in a building that will last for many a long year.

    Research well I would guess that was all done again many years ago.

    So the only area that I find hard to quantify is administration and what we call in the trade skimming.

    Bear in mind that half the worlds population has to live 100 days on less than the price of a litre of blood.:eek:

    Earl
     
    Posted: Aug 21, 2010 By: sirearl Member since: Apr 23, 2007
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  7. 360interactive

    360interactive UKBF Ace Free Member

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    I was going to respond to each point, but don't have the energy.

    There is no denying the cost of blood isn't cheap, but as someone who knows nothing about the subject (although you feel being a trained engineer gives you an 'insight') comments like this annoy the hell out of me.

    Come on, your comment on research is laughable.

    You know what they say, everyones an expert. :rolleyes:
     
    Posted: Aug 21, 2010 By: 360interactive Member since: Jul 20, 2008
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  8. sirearl

    sirearl UKBF Legend Free Member

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    Oh great an expert so maybe you can explain why blood is half the price in the most advanced nation on the planet.?

    Is it the lack of brain cell content.?;)

    http://sanfrancisco.bizjournals.com/sanfrancisco/stories/2007/01/29/story14.html?jst=s_cn_hl

    yer but yer but.

    Earl
     
    Posted: Aug 21, 2010 By: sirearl Member since: Apr 23, 2007
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  9. bovine

    bovine UKBF Ace Free Member

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    Wife used to work in the testing labs at blood service for years. They have to go through loads of processes and certainly in the lab she was in the was of a lot of consumables - all the tests were one-shot kits. They had to test the ones that had come out positive for one of the things you really dont want to get from a transfusion. Do you think the companies who sell the kits do so cheaply?

    There is also a lot of research work going on and some very expensive (some may say overpaid) staff.

    And being the nhs it will have massive inefficiencies and drives the cost up.

    But the cost to the nhs is largely irrelevant - the blood service is part of the nhs, so its just moving budgets around. Its when they sell the products to third parties that the cost becomes relevant
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2010
    Posted: Aug 22, 2010 By: bovine Member since: Aug 23, 2007
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  10. crinkle

    crinkle UKBF Newcomer Free Member

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    Well your USA comparison is 3 years out of date and at $221 for a unit of red cells the cost was about £15 more (at current exchange rate) than the current UK cost. Donors in the USA can donate every 8 weeks whereas here it is every 16 (medical rules) so more donors are needed per patient. Also in the UK (because of the vCJD/mad cow problem) blood has to have the white-cell component removed and the plasma is not used - these processes have significant extra cost associated, and in the US the plasma component can be sold to recoup costs (but not in the UK - we buy our plasma from the states). So the playing field is not at all level.

    Where does the money go:
    - advertising to recruit new donors (about 15% need to be replaced each year)
    - informing current donors of donation sessions
    - venue hire costs for approx 30,000 collection sessions each year
    - staff costs to collect, process, test and issue the blood to hospitals
    - transport costs - both fetching the blood for processing and despatch to hospitals
    - processing - each unit is manufactured into a number of products
    - testing - every unit collected is tested for a range of infections
    - consumables - needles, blood bags, test kits
    - clinical and scientific support to the hospitals that use the blood
    - capital costs - buildings, equipment, IT infrastructure
    - general support - admin, IT, finance, HR, etc,

    There is also some cross-subsidy of other specialised products services to hospitals paid from the income from blood, though this is being phased out.

    In fact research is funded separately from the price of blood, so although there is an active research programme it is not paid for out of the £125.
     
    Posted: Aug 22, 2010 By: crinkle Member since: Aug 22, 2010
    #10
  11. dingbat

    dingbat UKBF Newcomer Free Member

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    I don't see how it's largely irrelevant when the bill ultimately comes back to the tax payer. Wages and whatever they are paying out for materials is all relevant.

    While the NHS Blood Bank is publicly owned it would be interesting to know how much of their work is contracted out privately.
     
    Posted: Aug 22, 2010 By: dingbat Member since: Nov 28, 2006
    #11
  12. Vintage06

    Vintage06 UKBF Newcomer Free Member

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    I don't mind giving blood for free.. Well as long as i get tea & a biscuit :D

    £500 odd quid is small when you consider how much it costs a smoker to be treated for smoking related illnesses and alcoholics on liver transplants etc.

    We are lucky in the UK that we don't have to pay for our treatment.
     
    Posted: Aug 27, 2010 By: Vintage06 Member since: Aug 3, 2010
    #12
  13. Stephen Berry

    Stephen Berry UKBF Newcomer Free Member

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    On a business forum and we are focused on cost!
    In any market, the price is what the market can/will bear.

    If you are lying on a hospital slab in need of a few litres of blood to save your life, you would mortgage your house for it ..... £560 per litre seems quite cheap for the 'customer' who will die without it.

    I give my next 'unit' in 3 weeks time and would very much encourage those who are able (some are not) to do so. As the NBS web site says:
    Do Something Amazing...
    96% of us rely on the other 4% to give blood. Please don't leave it to someone else.
     
    Posted: Aug 28, 2010 By: Stephen Berry Member since: Jan 3, 2007
    #13
  14. sirearl

    sirearl UKBF Legend Free Member

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    Stating the obvious does not explain why the UK pays twice as much as the US,?:|

    Earl
     
    Posted: Aug 28, 2010 By: sirearl Member since: Apr 23, 2007
    #14
  15. Stephen Berry

    Stephen Berry UKBF Newcomer Free Member

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    as with all aspects of finance, you never know whether you are comparing like for like. What is and what is not included in the cost figures? Obviously the direct costs of salaries of staff, needles, plastic bags (and all other things previously mentioned), what apportionment of capital costs - from beds to weighing machines? What apportionment of administrative, IT systems and marketing costs? What apportionment of testing costs? - e.g. premises/test centre managers/test capital equipment?

    So, just because 2 figures claim to be "the cost of a litre of blood" (I guess that US would use pints), unless they are including the same approptionments and doing so in the same way, there is no reason to assume that they are comparable.

    sorry if that is pointing out the patently obvious - that media scare figures such as '£560 a litre' are fairly meaningless.
    I'll still be giving blood in 3 weeks time regardless of how the accountants apportion it.
     
    Posted: Aug 28, 2010 By: Stephen Berry Member since: Jan 3, 2007
    #15
  16. Vintage06

    Vintage06 UKBF Newcomer Free Member

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    Well for a start, ours is taken from our taxes we pay anyway. The U.S don't have private health care so it's on top of taxes.
     
    Posted: Sep 1, 2010 By: Vintage06 Member since: Aug 3, 2010
    #16
  17. sirearl

    sirearl UKBF Legend Free Member

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    The logic escapes me.:|:)

    Earl
     
    Posted: Sep 1, 2010 By: sirearl Member since: Apr 23, 2007
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