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Blood Service announces changes

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The Australian Red Cross Blood Service is relocating part of its Adelaide manufacturing operations to Melbourne. Preparations for the move will take several months, with the majority of the work being transferred in October 2012.

Blood collection and distribution in South Australia will continue as usual. There will be no changes to the blood supplies for Adelaide patients and hospitals.

The Blood Service has made significant investment in South Australia in recent years, and is committed to the state’s role in Australia’s blood collection system:

  • We are about to open a new $4 million donor centre in Regent Arcade, in the Adelaide CBD.  It will be formally opened in September.
  • We will continue to operate our five donor centres and two mobile units in South Australia.
  • Our national call centre is based in Adelaide, and in the four years since it was established, has grown from 15 staff, to 165 staff.   
  • We have recently opened a new, $2 million Blood Donor Centre in Marion.  It employs 15 staff and within five years, should bring around 20,000 extra donations per annum.
  • Further investment is in the pipeline, with plans for a new purpose built inventory and distribution hub in Adelaide to replace our current aging site in Pirie Street by 2017.

“South Australian blood donors are a vital part of the nations’ blood supply and we are confident that our donors continue to support the Blood Service” said the Blood Service Chief Executive, Jennifer Williams.  

The move will significantly reduce the business cost of processing and testing blood for patient use, a service fully funded by federal, state and territory governments.

“We have a new, state of the art facility in Melbourne with the capacity for testing and processing this additional blood” Ms Williams said.   “This move will save about $16 million over the next five years, while continuing the timely delivery of quality blood and blood products to South Australia.”

“State and federal governments have funded the new $155 million Melbourne Processing Centre, which opened in April this year, and this relocation provides further value to governments and the community for their investment” Ms Williams said

“The move will affect 60 of our 570 South Australian staff.  There will be some opportunities for processing and testing staff to relocate to Melbourne, but redundancies will be offered, and support services will be available for affected staff.” 

For further information please contact: Kathy Bowlen, National Media Manager, 0447 448 338