Make a trip to the Blood Transfusion Service this Christmas to give someone the gift of life. That is the appeal from Scottish Labour MSP Dr Richard Simpson who has worked in the NHS for over three decades.

Every minute of every day someone in Scotland is receiving blood as part of a life-saving or life-enhancing treatment. However, only 5% of Scots are active blood donors.

The Blood Transfusion Service in Scotland needs 5,000 donations each week to keep stocks at safe levels.

Dr Simpson’s call comes as earlier this winter the Service had to issue an urgent appeal for those in blood groups “O” and “B” to come forward.

Labour MSP and Shadow Minister for Public Health, Dr Richard Simpson, said:

“I have seen myself how vital donated blood is in hospitals. There is no adequate substitute and it saves lives.

“Only five per cent of 17 to 65 year olds are currently registered as blood donors. I would call on those who have been donors in the past and who haven’t given for a while, and also those who have never considered making a donation, to do so now.

“It does not take long, and that valuable time spent giving blood can help save a life.

“There is an on-going demand for blood from the Health Service, but donations are particularly important at this time of year when people have many other demands on their time it is easy to forget to go to a regular donation session.

“I’m appealing to everyone who qualifies to consider making a donation during the festive season, as by doing so they are giving the gift of life. What better gift could there be at this time of year?”