Deplorable conditions close blood bank

Durban - The SA National Blood Service has closed its blood bank at Stanger Hospital, citing the deplorable state of its offices.

It said numerous meetings with the hospital management about the condition of the prefab structure from which the agency had operated had not had the desired effect.

The SA National Blood Services has closed its blood bank at Stanger Hospital, citing the deplorable state of its offices. File picture: Matthew Jordaan. Credit: CAPE ARGUS

On Monday, the blood service moved its staff and equipment to Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Hospital in Phoenix, where it will operate alongside the existing blood bank there.

Spokeswoman Vanessa Raju said that due to structural and environmental risks, they had decided to vacate the old structure.

“We have criteria that guide our operations, and that’s for the benefit of the safety of both our employees and people who visit our banks,” she said.

“Our environmental manager and evaluators discovered that the structure was not suitable to operate from. It’s a prefab which we leased from the hospital.

“We had a meeting with the hospital management and discussed the issue, and the end result was that because we have to abide by our standards, we had to move our staff and equipment to the Gandhi hospital, from where we will provide our services.

“On September 8 we will be meeting again with the management to find a working solution, but in the meantime, people will be served at Mahatma Gandhi,” said Raju.

The closure will not have a negative impact on patients in KwaDukuza (Stanger) as the service was previously provided from the Phoenix hospital. The blood bank operated Monday to Friday, from 8am to 4pm.

The KwaZulu-Natal Department of Health said it was looking into the matter and would comment thereafter.