NHS England funded programme for blood group genotyping
Improving blood matching for people living with anaemias
The Molecular Diagnostics Laboratory in Filton specialises in red cell genotyping and will be providing this world-class programme in partnership with NHS England to better match blood groups for people living with inherited anaemias, like sickle cell disorder and thalassemia.
Please do not send samples until we are ready to receive them – we will advise on the date and we hope it will be November 2023.
This testing programme is being managed by NHS Blood and Transplant, with support and funding by NHS England and delivered to hospitals in England free of charge.
Forms for sample testing
Samples should be sent via routine NHSBT transport addressed to the Molecular Diagnostics Laboratory in NHSBT Filton. Packages must be labelled and addressed clearly. Please use the address labels below and ensure samples are packaged appropriately.
It is the responsibility of the requester to ensure that all samples are packaged in accordance with the current European agreement concerning Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road Regulations, and IATA (packaging instruction 650), to prevent breakage or spillage in transit UN 3373.
All people in England with sickle cell, thalassaemia, and transfusion dependent rare anaemias can now have a blood test in hospitals to have all their extended blood groups genotyped, to better match blood transfusions in the future.
NHS England (NHSE) is funding NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) to deliver the programme which will inform transfusion care for these patients in England.
Patients give blood for this test taken alongside their routine blood tests.
A similar programme is being rolled out for blood donors. With these two programmes it should be possible to identify better matched blood for transfusion and so reduce antibody formation. For those that already have antibodies it should be easier and quicker to find blood for transfusion.
The testing will be carried out using a new DNA array developed by the Blood Transfusion Genomics Consortium, an international consortium of which NHSBT is a founding member.
The new test can test blood groups faster and more extensively than current testing methods, both genetic and serological (using antibodies). This enables comprehensive testing to be rolled out for all patients for the first time.