News Article


Last Updated: 16 Aug 2016
We are proud to team up with the NHS to take part in the #MissingType campaign, raising awareness of the need for new blood donors.

News article - 16 Aug 2016

We are proud to team up with the NHS to take part in the #MissingType campaign, raising awareness of the need for new blood donors. New donors are vital to keep blood stocks healthy and enable hospitals throughout the country to continue their life-saving work. You can learn more, and sign up by visiting

Today we removed the letters that make up the four main blood groups (A, B, AB and O) from our website front page and tweets to highlight that these simple letters, and the blood groups they represent, are vital.

It only takes about an hour to donate, with around 9 minutes of that time actually spent giving blood. You will never know exactly who you help, but you can be certain that it saves lives. Over the past 30-plus years, our staff have donated approximately 23,000 units of their blood.

But our history stretches back further, to the code-breakers at Bletchley Park and beyond. Today we tackle troubles like terrorism, child sexual exploitation and human trafficking, still relying on brilliant mathematicians and problem-solvers to help us unlock the complex world of communications.

And it was our mathematicians who devised our bamboozling missing type puzzle. A world without blood donors of A, B, AB and O would be hard to live in, and our puzzle without As, Bs and Os is hard to crack.

For those who missed it, take a look at the puzzle, and for those who struggled, here are the answers.

Although overall the demand for blood is falling by 3-4% per year thanks to improvements in clinical practice, NHS Blood and Transplant still have to collect 1.6 million units of blood each year, aiming to collect the right amount of each blood group at the right time to meet patients needs. They must find just under 200,000 new blood donors each year to replace those who no longer donate, and to ensure there is the right mix of blood groups available.

NHS Blood and Transplant look to bring on donors that reflect the ethnicity of the country and the patients who rely on their services. Some blood groups, O negative, A negative and B negative, are particularly vulnerable to shortfalls. A regular supply is vital as red cells last 35 days and platelets only 7 days.

Please give blood.