Luke Pollard, the Secretary of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Blood Donation, has welcomed the Government’s announcement of a new blood donation policy, allowing more people than ever before to safely donate blood.
The new guidelines, in line with what the APPG for Blood Donation and the FreedomToDonate campaign group had been calling for, see a significant reduction in the deferral period placed on men who have had sex with men, now set at three months. Previously, men who had had sex with men were subject to a 12 month deferral period, something which the campaign group had outlined as unjustifiable and simply flying in the face of today’s medical evidence.
Also announced today is a long term commitment from the Government to work towards a truly individualised risk-based policy and similar reductions in deferral periods for other groups also excluded - both further key asks of the All Party Group that Luke is a member of. The campaign group, which helped launch the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Blood Donation and led on its Parliamentary Inquiry, has been working closely with the Department of Health and NHS Blood and Transplant on what it says is a world-leading blood donation policy.
Luke Pollard MP said:
“Donating blood is one of the most special gifts anyone can offer someone else. The outdated rules for men who have sex with men didn’t match the latest medical advice. It is right that these outdated rules were updated and I’m pleased that the Government has listened to the compelling evidence and the case made by the All Party Group for Blood Donation. I’m proud to be part of this group and I want to pay special tribute to the FreedomToDonate campaign and Paula Sherriff MP and Stewart McDonald MP for their leadership and determined campaigning.”
The founder of FreedomToDonate, Ethan Spibey, welcomed the news and said:
“Today’s announcement from the Government marks a world-leading blood donation policy for gay and bisexual men and the other groups previously restricted. I'm so proud that the work of FreedomToDonate and our supporters will help ensure more people than ever before are allowed to safely donate blood. It’s all down to an incredible team of volunteers and the charities and organisations the campaign represents.
Stewart McDonald MP, who co-chairs the APPG on Blood Donation who led on the Parliamentary Inquiry said:
“I am delighted at this monumental change in blood donation policy, which will ensure more people than ever before can donate blood and increase blood stock whilst always maintaining its safety and integrity. It is fantastic and right that these outdated restrictions have been reviewed and updated, and it is now crucial this policy is enforced as soon as possible, which will ensure as many people as possible are able to achieve this life-saving act.”
You can read more about the announcement here.
Luke Pollard, the Secretary of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Blood Donation, has welcomed the Government’s announcement of a new blood donation policy, allowing more people than ever before to...
This week, Luke and his team welcomed the first work experience student to the Plymouth office. Year 12 student Amir Norris from Saltash.net joined the team as part of his schools' work experience programme for sixth form students.
Amir, who lives in Lipson, is the first of what Luke hopes will be a steady flow of young people to get a taste of the world of work and insight into his work as your MP.
"Work experience is a really valuable opportunity for young people to have a taster of the workplace, learn new skills and grow in confidence. As a new MP I'm still getting my office set up and having Amir's help has made a real difference to my progress in having a fully operational office in Plymouth. Thank you Amir!"
Amir, 16, said:
This week I had the chance to do my work experience at Luke Pollard’s office in Plymouth. It was an interesting experience which gave me an insight into what it’s like being a politician, especially when setting up an office.
On my first day of work experience I was given a tour around the office by Nicky Williams who is one of the MP's staff. Once all the important information was out the way, I was given a computer to use for the week so I could help. My first job was to create a contact list for people that Luke needs to contact for his upcoming Brexit summit. That job took me most the week to complete. My second job was to listen to voice mails from people in the constituency who were trying to get a hold of the MP and write down the information from them so that the team could help them.
Towards the end of the week I started answering calls for the office and calling other people and companies so I can gather more contact information for my contacts list. On my final day, I got meet Luke Pollard and I got the chance to ask him questions about his new role as our MP. He got the chance to share some of his views and advice on university and places to eat in Plymouth, which I found useful.
Overall, I think this week has helped me decided what careers I want to pursue and has also taught me not to take it for granted due to how hard it was trying to get work experience because of various reasons such as the snap election. Work experience at the office has also given me skills I could use to my advantage at school and in a work environment.
Luke is keen to welcome students from Plymouth if they want to find out more about politics, what work an MP does or simply get a taster of work. Get in touch if you'd like to know more.
This week, Luke and his team welcomed the first work experience student to the Plymouth office. Year 12 student Amir Norris from Saltash.net joined the team as part of his...
In Westminster Hall this week there was a debate on the Future Shape of the Armed forces. The challenge now is how to adapt the Navy to serve the challenges that we face as a country.
I fear that the 2010 and 2015 SDSRs did not do us many favours in creating the shape of the Royal Navy that we need. We have too few escort frigates. We need more, and they need to be more capable in their defensive and offensive weaponry. I am deeply concerned about the armaments on the Type 26 and Type 31, because they do not provide the full-spectrum capabilities that those frigates require in the face of the threats they will be asked to meet.
In Westminster Hall this week there was a debate on the Future Shape of the Armed forces. The challenge now is how to adapt the Navy to serve the challenges...