Petition to Increase Awareness and Availability of Umbilical Cord Donation
Responsible department: Department of Health
For it to become compulsory for every pregnant woman in the UK to be informed about cord blood banking. For the government to invest in training midwives to harvest the cord blood so at least one trained midwife is available in every major hospital around the clock. For temporary storage facilities to be available in every major hospital while it can be transferred to a regional centre.
About Cord Blood Donations
(information from Anthony Nolan and Cord Blood Bank sites)
It's a risk free procedure that does not interfere with the delivery of your baby in any way
On average, every year 1 in 100 cord units will be used for transplantation compared to 1 in 1000 registered adult donors
80% of transplant requests would be met if the UK saved just 50,000 cord blood units. In the UK alone last year, 65,000 litres of cord blood were thrown away!
Up to 70% of people who need bone marrow transplants will not find a match. Banking stem cells improves those odds.
This e-petition has received the following response:
As this e-petition has received more than 10 000 signatures, the relevant Government department have provided the following response:
The Government is committed to improving UK stem cell services and has allocated a total of £12million to help implement the recommendations of the UK Stem Cell Strategic Forum report. To date, this funding has resulted in an increase in the number of banked clinical grade cord blood units, as well as an aligned UK stem cell register and an increase in adult stem cell donors recruited to the register.
The Government is working towards a cord blood bank of 50,000 units, but this can only be achieved through a strategic approach, and one that is affordable. As part of this work, both NHS and certain Anthony Nolan centres are being funded to operate a 24/7 service.
While an increased cord blood bank size will result in better patient outcomes, the relative value of each added unit diminishes as the inventory expands. On this basis, balancing service quality with cost effectiveness, a bank of 50,000 units was determined as optimal by the UK Stem Cell Strategic Forum.
The cord blood samples stored in the UK’s public cord blood banks are available to patients across the country, and there is no scientific or financial case for the routine collection of cord blood.
The Government knows that black, Asian and minority ethnic populations are less likely to find a matched adult stem cell donor. To try to address this, cord blood collection centres have been sited at hospitals in areas of highest ethnic diversity.
This e-petition remains open to signatures and will be considered for debate by the Backbench Business Committee should it pass the 100 000 signature threshold.
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