Ten of Auckland’s top blood and plasma donors helped New Zealand Blood Service (NZBS) celebrate the official opening of its refurbished Epsom Donor Centre floor at 71 Great South Road. This extraordinary group of donors who between them have donated over 4,300 units of blood and plasma and save nearly 12,000 people were treated to a guided tour of the new and improved facilities.
Opened on Monday 10th August in a ceremony hosted by NZBS CEO Sam Cliffe and Director of Donor Services Doug Gallagher, the special guests included New Zealand’s highest ever donor Paul Tomlin who has donated an extraordinary 615 times and counting.
Commenting on the opening, NZBS CEO Sam Cliffe said that the donor experience is at the very heart of the new facility. “It’s incredible to think that our guests today have collectively spent over 170 days in our donor beds over the course of their donation careers. We could not think of any better people to give our new donor floor their official seal of approval. We are so grateful and thrilled to have them at the opening of our new space.”
“Every week over 650 donors walk through our doors to donate at the Epsom donor centre, and we are excited to welcome all of our regular donors, and new donors, into our new spacious donor floor. Every part of the space has been designed to make sure they feel as comfortable as possible, with new reclining donor beds, and views across the Dilworth grounds and to Te Kōpuke/Mt St John.”
“The refurbishment also includes a brand-new donor refreshment and waiting area. For anyone concerned, we’ll always have a range of refreshments and biscuits on hand, so donors can still look forward to our token of gratitude after a donation.”
However, the new donor centre is about much more than just aesthetics. New Zealand will soon require more plasma donations than whole blood donations. The new space will have capacity for an additional 100 plasma donors every week, more than 5,000 donations a year.
The opening of the donor centre floor is the second part of a multimillion-dollar redevelopment of NZBS’s Epsom facilities. On completion the state-of-the-art donor centre and North Island processing and testing hub will play a vital role in ensuring security of supply of blood and blood products across the country for the foreseeable future.
“We have actually been at 71 Great South Road for nearly 20 years. This redevelopment has allowed us to stay in a great location, whilst improving the donor experience, expanding the number of appointments available, as well as extending and updating processing and testing facilities that will serve the whole of the North Island,” concludes Ms Cliffe.
The new donor floor is on Level 1 of the Epsom Donor Centre and can be accessed by using the elevator or stairs in the lobby. Please register at reception, Level 1 when you arrive.
If you haven’t made your next appointment please book online at www.nzblood.co.nz, call 0800 448 325, or use the NZBS app at the next available time.