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Blood services

The Australian Red Cross Blood Service is a division of Australian Red Cross and is fully funded by Australian governments for the provision of blood products and services to the Australian community.

One in three Australians will need blood in their lifetime but only one in 30 currently donates. Australian Red Cross Blood Service

Red Cross, through its largest operating division, the Australian Red Cross Blood Service, carried out its life-saving work providing blood services to Australia under the Deed of Agreement with the National Blood Authority (NBA). The NBA is a federal agency that coordinates the Australian blood and blood products sector on behalf of the Commonwealth and State/Territory governments, and fully funds the work of the Blood Service.

The Australian Red Cross Blood Service Board reports to the Australian Red Cross Board, which has overall responsibility and oversight and appoints all non-executive Board Members. The Board plays a vital role in ensuring the governance of the Blood Service and is responsible for the organisation’s efficient operation, setting the culture of operating in a responsible way within the community. Australian Red Cross’ Deputy President and Chief Financial Officer are both Blood Service Board Members.

The Blood Service and Australian Red Cross work closely, however both organisational streams are kept financially separate. The operations work together in the International Humanitarian Blood Strategy, which draws on the international development expertise of the AusAID accredited Red Cross International Program, closely aligned with technical expertise of the Blood Service.

A new processing facility in Melbourne

In April 2012, the Blood Service opened the largest blood processing facility in the southern hemisphere, and will process 40% of the nation’s blood supply. The one-time car factory was redesigned into one of the most modern processing centres in the world and will process all blood donations from Victoria, Tasmania and South Australia: amounting to around 1,500 blood donations per day.

The Pacific Transfusion Leaders have developed their capacity to understand and analyse a broad range of transfusion- related policy and content issues and have developed the leadership skills to drive improved policy and practice within their own countries and across the region. Australian Red Cross/Neil Waters

Better alignment of Australia’s blood supply

The Australian Red Cross Blood Service is leading blood services around the world in the use of methodologies to align blood supply with demand.

Using industry modelling tools, the Blood Service can now plan blood inventory levels more accurately across regions and across blood products. This means they are better placed to predict what blood products will be needed when and where, delivering improvements in service to health providers.

Cambodian National Blood Transfusion Service

Australian Red Cross and the Blood Service are working in partnership with the American Association of Blood Banks to develop a new, five year strategic plan to enhance the long term sustainability of the Cambodian National Blood Transfusion Service (NBTS) and to improve the quantity and quality of blood provided by the NBTS.

Pacific Transfusion Leaders Program

Supported by AusAID through an Australian Leadership Awards Fellowships grant, the Pacific Transfusion Leaders Program aims to develop safer collection, processing and clinical use of blood products across the Pacific. Rather than focus on technical skills, the program developed and continues to sustain a regional network of leaders from nine Pacific countries, who learn from and support each other.