Blood donors in the Western Isles will no longer be able to give blood in Stornoway, it has been announced.

The Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service (SNBTS) is to stop planning for blood donation programmes in the town.

The most recent blood donation session was in September 2016. The SNBTS have cited a 20% reduction in the overall demand in the last 6 years coupled with 'unpredictable weather conditions' and 'transport delays' as reasons behind the discontinuation of the service.

This does not impact on the delivery of tested and processed blood to the Western Isles.

Alasdair Allan MSP commented: “I know many people in the islands will be disappointed they will no long have the opportunity to donate blood on a regular basis.

“The sessions in Stornoway were very well attended, which is a fantastic testament to the sense of community and citizenship we have here in the Isles. Many people will have had a friend or family member who will have needed donated blood at one point; many more will just have wanted to help others.

“However, we have to appreciate that patient safety comes first and that SNBTS have to meet their 22 hour time limit for donations. It seems that the difficulty they have had in meeting this time limit, coupled with a 20% reduction in demand for blood, has led to their decision to discontinue the Stornoway collections.

“I plan to meet with the Associate Director of Donor & Transport Services at SNBTS in the coming weeks to discuss this issue and the possibility of its reintroduction in future.”