Thursday, 14 December 2017

Hall blood donation clinic is scrapped

COUNCILLORS in Peppard are unhappy after the NHS blood donation clinics held in the village were stopped after three years.

The sessions took place at the war memorial hall three times a year and more than 100 people regularly donated blood.

They have been scrapped after NHS Blood Donation staff complained that they could no longer get their equipment into the hall in Gallowstree Road.

Valerie Ross, who represents the parish council on the hall’s management committee, said: “It’s a big hall but apparently the NHS can’t fit their rollers for the equipment through the doors. 

“The doors are not wide enough and because all the equipment is brought in on cages, which have been made bigger, they can no longer fit them through.

“They say they are going to go to Henley Rugby Club instead.

“I think they have shot themselves in the foot. People from Sonning Common, Kidmore End and Rotherfield Peppard walk here or they drive and the car park is free. 

“At Henley Rugby Club you have to pay to go in the car park. There are also no buses from here to Henley.

“I think they are going to lose a lot of business.”

Councillor Jeni Wood said: “It needs to be stressed that a lot of people won’t be able to get there from here.”

Clive Mills, chairman of hall trustees, said: “They have said they have a new regime in terms of laying out the hall so they can’t use it any more.

“They moved to the war memorial hall from Sonning Common village hall because it was easier to park. Now they need a much bigger hall for their new programme.”

Mr Mills said the trustees had discussed the issue and concluded that the necessary adjustments could not be made without spending vast sums of money, so he had written to NHS Blood Donation to say the clinics would be welcome to return.

He added: “I have told them they are leaving a big, big hole in a small rural area for collecting blood. It was very well used and whenever I used to give blood it would be a struggle to book a slot.

“I don’t know if people who give blood at the memorial hall will be able to get to Henley Rugby Club. I feel like the village is losing out.”

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