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Blood: Homosexuality

Question for Department of Health and Social Care

UIN HL10425, tabled on 17 November 2020

To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to their LGBT Action Plan 2018: Improving the lives of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender people, published on 3 July 2018, what progress they have made in reviewing the blood donation deferral period for men who have sex with men; who is leading that review; when they estimate that review to publish its recommendations; and what plans they have to ensure that the recommendations are relevant to all of the countries in the UK.

Answered on

30 November 2020

NHS Blood and Transplant are working collaboratively with lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender groups on the criteria for blood donation, through the FAIR (For Assessment of Individualised Risk) steering group. The FAIR group is using an evidence-based approach to explore if a more individualised blood donation risk assessment can be safely and practically introduced, while ensuring the safe supply of blood and blood products to patients.

The work of FAIR was slightly delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic, but the group has now submitted their report to the Advisory Committee on the Safety of Blood, Tissues and Organs (SaBTO) that advises United Kingdom ministers and health departments from the devolved administrations. The guidance provided by SaBTO is now being considered by Ministers and we will publish the conclusions in due course.