Community rallies to save blood bank

OUTRAGED locals have swamped social media and fired off dozens of letters in a desperate attempt to reverse the decision to close the Griffith Blood Bank.

News came through on Thursday that the blood bank will close after Thursday this week, to be replaced with a mobile service visiting just two days every six weeks.

Staff were given only one week's notice.

Member for Murrumbidgee Adrian Piccoli has also joined the cause, imploring state blood services manager Steven Eldridge to reconsider.

"The Griffith Blood Donor Centre has been in operation for a very long time and is a well-known and much-loved part of the Griffith Base Hospital," Mr Piccoli said in his letter.

"I can understand that there has been a downward trend in the donor population trend in Griffith and this is surely not due to the location of the blood centre at Griffith Base Hospital but rather due to other reasons that also affect blood donor centres elsewhere in NSW and indeed Australia."

Mr Piccoli said he was concerned the mobile unit would not meet the demand of current donors.

"I am concerned that the same service that operates now at the Griffith Blood Donor Centre may not occur through a mobile unit and invariably this will turn people away all together from donating blood products," he said.

Locals have taken to Facebook and Twitter questioning "how can the blood bank close"?

Mayor John Dal Broi said he was "dismayed" at the blood service's decision and has appealed to Mr Eldridge for an alternative.

Since the announcement, Cr Dal Broi has fielded dozens of calls from upset locals.

"I would have thought that some discussions with Griffith City Council prior to announcing the closure would have been the courteous thing to do," Cr Dal Broi wrote to the blood bank's management.

"On behalf of the council I respectfully request that an opportunity be made available to us to discuss alternatives.

"To expect blood donors to line up two times a week in a car park in the middle of winter or the heat of summer is an insult."

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